Parma Revival – Last day drama?

parma

So here we are and I have made a change to the format, due to only really having the league to focus on and it being a 34 game league this update will cover the full season 2, getting to business our board are requesting that we reach the playoffs in the Lega Pro A (Serie C) and we are rated as the 5th favourites for the title with the bookmakers and with odds of 33-1 we are not fancied to win the league but we are expected to challenge for the playoffs which ties in with the board request.

However I am very excited by some of the signings I have made and the team we have assembled and feel quietly confident we can certainly challenge for the title, I have been given essentially £9 million and an extra £55k p/w on wages but I have decided to keep to spending around £500k on the transfer budget for this season and have increased the wage budget by £26k p/w to £54k p/w.

Summer signings

Parma Calcio 1913_  Transfer History-3.png

If we firstly take a look at the outgoing players we let most of the players go on a free due to running down of their respective contracts, the big shock may be Alessandro Lucarelli, our club captain of last season was 39 years old and wanted a wage increase from £6k p/w to £9k p/w and having looked at his contribution I felt the wages could be used better elsewhere so it was time to let him go.

The rest that we let go of on a free were due to them not being of the required standard as we progress through the leagues and none of them even featured much for me in Serie D, however losing Otello Cangini to Torino was a bitter blow he was one of our bright youth hopes if you remember from the previous post but Torino lured him before I could agree pro terms with him so we lost him for £92k compensation fee.

Now to the incoming players, goalkeeper Vid Belec came in on a free transfer and £3k p/w from Carpi and with reflexes of 14, positioning and handling of 12 he is a massive upgrade on Zompers, next I felt we needed to improve our centre back area for the step up in quality and I was able to recruit two very good centre backs for this level – in came Alex Sirri and Andrea Mei.

Mei has 15 tackling, 14 marking and 13 for pace and is a 4 star player who can be a leading player for Serie B sides, it’s always pleasing signing a player who can be a strong player in the division above as we need to keep on progressing, Sirri was a £230k buy and my scouts at the time rated him with a potental of 4.5 stars which after an injury has sadly come down to 3 stars so we’ll see how much further he can progress.

We also make purchases in left and right wing back so yes, we’ve changed the full back 4 and keepers, this was a big transitional period in any case we bring in left wing back Lorenzo Pasqualini on a free and right wing back Tommaso Cancellotti for a fee of £350k. Pasqualini is a 4 star player with key stats of 12-14 in the wing back areas he is worth the outlay, while Pasqualini is a 3.5 star wing back who improves us instantly.

Hernan Pereyra then joins us also on a free on just £1.1k p/w he gives us a better option at left wing than we currently have and is on less wages than some of our squad players, I also bring in anchor man Tommaso Morosini in on a free he is a 3.5 star player so can make the step up to Serie B if we make it and with little outlay the deal makes perfect sense.

A fellow midfielder brought in is Mattia Minesso also on a free, after a stunning season he is now worth £2.4 million and is a 4 star player with excellent technical stats such as 16 for passing and 14 for technique, we then make use of the link with Napoli and secure the loans of right inside forward Roberto Insigne and centre back Sebastiano Luperto – 4.5 star potential and 5 star potential respecitvely with the current ability to comfortably play at this level.

The rest we signed that I won’t discuss simply did not impress enough and I gather you all are bored of transfers and want to get into the action?

Serie C Cup

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Our board once again said this was not a competition they cared about and this time neither did I, I’m not saying that because we were disgraced by Reggiana but promotion to Serie B was going to be a massive task and the extra games I could do without. We won comfortably over Cuneo and then were outplayed by Reggiana who would go to push us in some games later on in the season.

Serie D

We started the league well with 6 wins out of a possible 8 however then picked up just one win in 5 games including 3 defeats, incredibly we defeated Mantova 5-1 in a thrilling display within this period, before winning 3 of the next 5 including a draw in this period the 1-0 loss coming against Giana Erminio.

We then beat Pro Sesto 2-0 to make it 2 out of 2 for the season against them, before 2 stuttering back to back draws against two sides we should have beaten in Renate and Venezia, then something magical happened I had been working on defending in training and a small tactical tweak to move the DLP (s) to a CM (s) and A (D) to a DLP (D) and we went 8 wins on the bounce including 6 clean sheets.

This excellent run of form moved us from 5 points behind Modena to 5 in front, we then had the chance to move 8 clear of Modena and despite dominating the game lost 2-1 despite taking an early lead through Walter Rodriguez, we then finished the season with a win over Bassano, awful loss to Regianna (again), a great late comeback win v Cuneo where Rodriguez again inspried us and this lead us to some last day drama.

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In a 18 team league, this allows for 34 games and this is how tight it was going in to the last day of the season, I should probably say that only one team goes up and then 2nd to 4th are involved in a playoff which is very complicated however all it would require is to equal Modena last fixture

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Much to my dismay we could only manage a draw in our last game in a 1-1 draw however battered Pordenone, thankfully Modena decided to collapse on the last day losing 2-0 to Bassano and we are champions, back to back promotions is good going so far however whilst our domination of the ball improved this year only scoring 50 (joint best in league, how?) is not something I am happy with, I’m not Louis Van Gaal.

Key players

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Tommaso Cancelotti was brilliant in replacing Claud Adjopang and helped us to the title with an average rating of 8.35, 12 man of the match awards, 2 assists and a credible pass completion rate of 82%, Walter Rodriguez probably was my player of the season and just a delight to have in my team – 7 goals, 10 assists and 7 man of the match awards, pass completion rate of 81% and with an average rating of 7.88 this proves how vital he was to us.

Credible mentions go to Daniele Melandri with 17 goals and 4 assists in 28 starts and centre midfielder Mattia Minesso with 4 goals, 6 assists and a pass completion rate of 83% which has seen his value soar to £2.4 million – not bad for a free signing after one season.

Player contracts

Good player performances and players with high potential meant we had work to do in securing some contract extensions and tied up Daniele Melandri, Gabriele Silva, youngster Nardi and also extended deal of Mattia Minesso due to a good season and him almost causing a squad mutiny, he behaved poorly but realistically could take us to next level so did enough to get him on a longer deal and improved terms.

On the opposite side there are several players I will be letting go of, reserve keeper Alioune Fall, Maikol Benassi, Dimitar Traykov, Franceso Corapi will all be let go for not being of the right standard needed, after one season Faissal El Bakhtaoui did not perform to the level I expected and midfield veteran Crocefisso Migiletta has retired from football but been a decent servant.

Youth intake

In regards to the youth intake we signed four youngsters that I feel have decent potential even with us progressing through the leagues, they were Riccardo Cipolla a wide man with incredible physicals for a 16 year old with a 4-5 star potential too, Ermes Capone a raw but talented 17 year old striker with potential of between 4 and 5 stars.

The last two exciting talents signed up were centre back Davide Tancredi with a potential of between 3.5-4.5 stars and a winger/forward Ivanno Penna with potential of 4.5 stars and flair of 17 – delightful.

Riccardo Cipolla_ Overview Profile-2

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Signings for next season

A teaser for next season as we have tied up pre contracts for two players Josh Brillante from Fiorentina and Armando Vajushi from Chievo.

Josh Brillante_ Overview Attributes.png

Josh is a current international and will battle with Morosini in the deeper midfield role I always like to have good competition for places, he is just 24 years old a great age and has potential of 5 stars so I couldn’t really turn the deal down for him.

Armando Vajushi_ Overview Profile.png

Vajushi was a player recommended to me by my chief scout and with current ability of 4 stars, a first touch of 13, dribbling 14 and acceleration 14 I think he could be a valuable addition, Francesco Corapi won’t be getting a new deal due to poor performances so he will come in to replace him.

Finances

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Another season and another financial loss for Parma, realistically I don’t see things improving until we get back to Serie A, the added wages would have added around £1.35 million to our expenditure, add in £500k net spend on transfers and we’re not too far away from the loss but at the moment we have a healthy bank balance so I’m not too concerned.

Budget

Once again I’ve been given a healthy transfer budget of £8.7 million and a wage budget of £92k p/w (38k p/w spare) however once again I don’t want to go mad so wish to be financially prudent to get back to where Parma belong in the top flight in a healthy manner.

Aims for next season

Our board haven’t given us any expectations yet but I have heard that others have been asked to secure a mid table position in Serie B if they get back to back promotions, my aim is to get back to Serie A by season 5 so this allows for me to have a transitional season in Serie B if I need to. However if we recruit well and perform then of course we will go all out to get back to Serie A a year early. Forza Parma

I hope everyone who has read this has enjoyed this post, if you wish to discuss anything then leave a comment or you can find me on twitter @johnmcintosh19 and I’ll be happy to discuss.

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Parma Revival – An unlikely Treble?

parma

We’re back and going for promotion to Serie C, when you last read this we were into the semi final of the Serie D cup and 5 points clear of Forli and Mezzolara in the Serie D leaue table who were both in good form, so you might be surprised by the headline. How can we win a treble featuring in only 2 competitions? We’ll come to that further in to this update..

Serie D Table

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So the number one priority was to win the league title in our Serie D group and guarantee promotion at the first attempt, after 19 games we had given ourselves a 5 point lead over our nearest challengers, those title challengers Forli and Mezzolara stayed with us for the majority of the season albeit the latter fell away due to crumbling in the last 6 games.

A major impressive part of our second half of our season was defensively again, we were largely very solid and kept 11 clean sheets in our last 19 league games, like in the first half of the season scoring goals was the bigger problem and we managed only 25 goals in the same period which is an area I want to improve through upgrades on player acquisition as the system creates enough to be smashing teams but we miss so many clear cut chances.

Key points in this second half of the season were an early defeat to Mezzolara which was undeserved but brought the title race to just 2 points at that stage, however after this defeat we went 12 games unbeaten with a 6 game winning streak which included 5 clean sheets in a row.

A 4-1 away win over Bellaria and a 3-0 home win over Union Arzignano were the standout performances of the second half of our league season with our number 10 Rodriguez dominating both games and being our creative outlet.

By this late stage in the season Mezzolara had dropped away however Forli, who had become our closest title challengers went into the 33rd round of fixtures in the campaign high on confidence due to their recent form but incredibly crumbled to a 3-0 defeat to 16th place while Parma supporters were delighted with a comfortable 3-0 victory over 15th placed Union Arzignano. This result put us 11 points clear with just 5 games left.

We then faced Forli in the 35th league game of the season at the Ennio Tardini stadium, a draw would be enough to win the Serie D title in front of our own fans and take our first steps back… and we lose the game 1-0. In a game where we don’t turn up and throw a great chance away, I walk into the dressing room and tear the whole squad to shreds and make sure they know in no uncertain terms the next game must be won.

We are Serie D champions with two games to spare after a 2-0 victory over Altovicento with goals coming from youth prospect Vincenzo Quaranta and Daniele Melandri in a quickfire double at the start of the second half, we dominated the chances and possession statistics and fully deserve the win which could and should have been more.

Serie D Cup

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We were about to go into the semi final stage of the competition at the end of the last update and were big favourites to progress here against Fiorenzuola and duly won the first game at home 2-0 with goals coming from veterans Lucarelli and Migiletta. The away fixture is probably the worst game under my tenure, we don’t turn up and they punish us by taking the lead deservedly in the first half then strike again on 68 minutes.

The tie goes straight to penalties and fortunately we are victorious (2-2) 8-7 on penalties as we don’t miss a single chance from 12 yards, nervy but we go through to the final which is played at our home stadium, not sure on the fairness of that decision but we’ll take it.

The cup final is against Venezia who went on to win their Serie D group but we destroy them and 2 goals from striker Daniele Melandri on 56 and 66 minutes see us win the Serie D cup in a 2-0 victory. If we take a look at the match statistics we were in complete control – 20 shots to 3, 4 half chances to 1, 3 clear cut chances to 0 and we enjoyed 59% of the possession which is always pleasing with our philosophy.

Serie D Scudetto

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So that’s the double won and that’s all we can win this season, right? Wrong, I wasn’t aware of this but after winning Serie D due to there being 9 different groups, the winners of each group go into 3 groups of 3. You play each other once and the winners of each group and the best runner up go into a 2 legged semi final then the winners of the semi finals play the final to see who wins the Serie D Scudetto.

A comfortable 2-0 victory over Venezia puts us in a good position, we know a victory over Taranto now puts us through to the semis due to having a better goal difference than Taranto however in one of our best displays of the season we smash them 4-1 with a double from Walter Rodriguez and goals from Yves Baraye and Daniele Melandri.

Our semi final opponents are RapalloBogilasco, they put up a good fight over both legs as we win 2-1 in front of our own fans, again Walter Rodriguez and Daniele Melandri on the scoresheet and proving to be key players, the second leg away we gain a credible 1-1 draw in a game we were comfortable and had went 1-0 up after 9 minutes through Rodriguez again, only to be pegged back on 79 minutes but held on to reach the final.

We then face Pro Sesto in the final of the Scudetto and as we’re drawn as the away side, the final is played at E Brada – Pro Sesto home stadium. In a quite even game, we took the lead through the inconsistent Yves Baraye after 37 minutes and manage to hold on to that scoreline to win the Scudetto, Migiletta sending off on 75 minutes put the victory under question, but we managed to tighten it up. Treble Winners 2015/2016

January Transfer dealings

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Going into the January windwo I was looking for a striker due to Daniele Melandri’s long term injury and I had identified Andrea Vasallo as a target and a strong defensive midfielder. We signed Vasallo on loan from A.C Milan which I was pleased with, Filippo Romagna came in on loan from Juventus until the end of season and impressed making the anchor man role his own. Negro and D’Ignazio came in from Napoli just to give us greater depth but never impressed enough.

Guazzo was let go for £7k as he never did enough to get into the first team and was continually moaning about not getting any chances so I was happy to move him on and we released Cristian Longobardi on a free as he realised he wasn’t to the required standard.

As I mentioned the two loanees from Napoli featured only a couple of times from the bench and didn’t show much so I won’t cover them but I’ll discuss Romagna and Vasallo appearances further.

 

Filippo Romagna_ Overview Profile.png

Filippo Romagna – Current ability – 4 stars Potential ability – 4-5 stars

Romagna gained an average rating of 7.01 in 12 appearances but had a decent pass completion rate of 78%, I always find that holding midfield and goalkeepers are harshly rated in terms of average rating by FM but he was really impressive in making us solid and breaking up many attacks. He goes back on loan to Juventus and is someone I may look at if he is listed for loan again as he could play in Serie C.

Andrea Vassallo_ Overview Profile.png

Andrea Vasallo – Current ability – 2 stars Potential ability – 4-5 stars Avg rating – 6.82

Vasallo was a bit of a disappointment in all honesty, I was excited at getting him on loan until the end of the season but only scored 3 goals in 9 games with 2 of them being from the penalty spot, in my opinion he under performed for his ability but not every signing will be a success.

Contract worries

On the last update I mentioned around 70% of the players running out of contract in the summer wouldn’t speak to me, well footballers are fickle and once we had secured the league all of them were happy to speak to me and in the majority I gave them new deals however there is one big name who has left the club, this will be updated on the next update.

Youth Intake

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So the youth intake was a massive success and the 4 players I have screenshots of are the most talented, Montanaro has a 4.5 star potential and the rest have 5 stars so could have bright futures. Cangini has actually made the match day squad however Quaranta has played in quite a few games in the holding midfield role and has popped up with 2 assists and 1 goal in 9 appearances with a solid 6.99 average rating.

Quaranta actually became our youngest ever player and subsequently our youngest ever goalscorer so I have trust in youth and feel a few of this crop could be special.

Key players this season

Parma Calcio 1913_ Players Players-3.png

Claud Adjopang – Current ability – 4.5 stars Potential ability – 5 stars Avg rating – 8.42

Adjopang was an incredible attacking wing back for us this season and unless we can lure him back on loan again, he will be a big loss to us – he suffered an 6 week injury near the end of the season and we missed him greatly. He contributed 2 goals, 11 assists and 18 man of the match awards and was a big part of our attacking system when working at it’s best.

Walter Rodriguez – Current ability – 3 stars Potential ability – 4 stars – Avg rating – 7.9

Rodriguez is our number 10 and after a decent but slow start he came to life in the second half of the season being really vital in the Scudetto run and in the title run in, he is a talent who loves getting shots away and seems to have a Lampard-esque way of being in right position to run on to balls and get goals, he chipped in with 13 goals, 5 assists and 6 man of the match awards and is one of only a few who will start next season.

Notable mentions go to Dimitar Traykov who was promoted from the 20s and managed a 7.52 rating, 8 goals and 17 assists from right wing at just 19 years of age and striker Daniele Melandri who despite having major injury issues managed 14 goals and 6 assists in 28 appearances with an average rating of 7.37.

Link made with Napoli

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I’m delighted to have struck a link with Napoli, they are currently one of the top 4 or 5 Serie A sides and we will benefit from player(s) we like from them being sent out on loan while we have no obligation to play them and we don’t pay a penny. We also host an annual friendly with Napoli with all gate receipts to be kept by us, in our current position this is a very smart and good deal for us.

Parma turn professional!

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Turning back professional is a big step forward, I asked in a board meeting for this to happen at around March time which was rejected however due to promotion the board felt this was an acceptable move, an added bonus to this is the increased staff we can now employ.

Contract accepted

I have also accepted a contract to be the Parma manager until June 2019, which could mean leading Parma out in Serie A within this contract period  all things going well and being promoted from each league at the first time of asking, that is an aim of mine however I am happy to win Serie D and C first time, one adjustment year in Serie B due to higher quality and then push for promotion the second season.

Finances

Taking a look at our financial summary for the season, we recorded a £443,595 loss this season but retain a healthy balance of over £10 million, due to it being Serie D although we enjoyed season ticket holders of 8,000 which is impressive we failed to gain much more attendance than 10,000 for home games so hopefully with the step up, more fans turn out and thus a better financial result can happen going forward.

Budgets for next season..

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This is obviously a downloaded database from FMScout and so far things have been spot on, however this is clearly a flaw, our wage budget has increased from £28k p/w to £88k p/w and our transfer budget has went from £100k to £9.42 million. Now it would be both daft and risky to go and spend millions on player recruitment, it is both not needed and would ruin the save/series as it’s over the top.

I asked a few people who follow this series whether I should buy/download FMRTE to adjust the budgets to a more respectable one but it was agreed I would just leave things and spend what I feel is necessary – in my opinion £500k for transfers and possibly doubling wages from £25k p/w to £50k p/w if needed would be fair to win Serie C.

The next update will be our summer transfer dealings, how the signings shape our side and possibly include the first few games of the Serie C league season, we have made some excellent signings and a major player may leave, who could it be?

I hope everyone who has read this has enjoyed this first post, if you wish to discuss anything then leave a comment or you can find me on twitter @johnmcintosh19 and I’ll be happy to discuss.

Parma Revival – An introduction

parma

“Suffer together, rebuild together, then conquer together”  Ludovic Lestrelin – French sociologist

Why Parma?

They are an incredibly interesting team to manage on this version and due to needing a downloadable database to unlock Serie D leagues, I have not seen many videos or articles of Football Manager creators managing this club.

Downloadable database – http://www.fmscout.com/a-italy-lower-leagues-fm16.html

(Credit – FMScout – twitter – @fmscout)

A background to Parma

Parma have reached such highs in recent times as winning the Uefa Cup in 1995 and 1999 but over the last 15 years have been renowned as a team in financial difficulty and a major selling side, a team that was relegated to Serie B in 2007/2008 but also boasted such quality players such as Gigi Buffon, Hernan Crespo, Lillian Thuram, Adriano and Fabio Cannavaro.

Parma at one stage were known as one of the major players in Italian football along with the greats of Juventus, Roma and Milan clubs, this for a provincial club was an incredible time however things soon spiralled out of control

Being declared bankrupt in 2015 this marked the second time the club had went through bankruptcy in little over a decade, the previous time was in 2004 when the owner at the time was embezzling funds from the parent company Parmalat, after three years the club was brought out of administration.

Moving on, Parma finished the 2015-2016 season bottom with just 19 points but worse was to come with major financial woe being well documented, the club were declared bankrupt on the 22nd June 2015 and were forced down to Serie D with no buyer coming forward.

Many Parma players left the club in the summer and this requires a massive rebuild to make them a force again, however veteran captain Alessandro Lucarelli vowed to stay even down to the fourth tier as he wished to repay the fantastic Parma support.

During this turbulent and emotional time, the club name was renamed to Parma Calcio 1913, taking its name from the year of foundation of the club.

Club Honours

Parma Calcio 1913_ History Overview.png

Stadium

Parma Calcio 1913 play their football at the Ennio Tardini stadium, which is a very old stadium, it has been the home of Parma since 1923 however it was renovated in the early 1990s and holds 22,885 fans at capacity, it is the 19th largest stadium in Italian football and this is possibly one area where in the future I may want to develop or move to a larger stadium. However 22,885 is a massive stadium for the level Parma are at currently.

Finances

I thought a look before the season kicks off of the club finances would be appropriate given the troubles they have experienced in the recent past, the bank balance sits at £11.94 million as you can see so we are in a healthy financial position, only time will tell how our finances will do throughout the season but I’m delighted with that.

Parma Calcio 1913_ Finances Summary

Budget

To start the game you get a fair £100k transfer budget and £27k p/w on player wages budget which gives you around £1.8k p/w spare on player wages.

Key players

Alessandro Lucarelli – He is your captain, the fans adore him for dropping down and he is one of your best and most key players, sadly though he is 38 years of age and he is on a crazy £6.75k p/w with only 12 months left on his deal. The scout still rates him as a good Serie A central defender and with stats such as 14 heading, 16 marking, 14 positioning and 18 leadership he is a colossus. 8 and 9 for acceleration and pace may stop any ideas of a high defensive line though.

Francesco Corapi – Another key player for you is F.Corapi, he’s 29 years old but holds a 4.5 star rating for ability and potential – rated as a good serie B midfielder, he can play anywhere across the midfield and attacking midfield options but with stats such as dribbling 14, flair 15 and acceleration 13 he could be an interesting asset – finishing at just 10 lets him down but it is serie D so it’s probably very good for that level.

Yves Baraye – Yves is an exciting wide man, who signed for Parma in the summer from Serie A side Chievo – he is just 23 with dribbling of 14, acceleration of 15 and first touch of 11. Again finishing at 8 is something that needs worked on but he has a very decent overall base to work with and should light up Serie D.

Youth prospects

Yan Koliatko – a 16 year old left back with 5 star potential, he starts with tackling of 13, work rate and team work of 16 and stamina of 11 but must improve his dribbling to improve bombing forward which sits at 3 – one to watch.

Henry Ajiboye – A 16 year old goalkeeper with 14 reflexes, 13 communication and kicking and importantly for development has 18 for determination so with the right guidance could really develop into a top goalkeeper

Key areas to strengthen

On a brief look at the squad, the team is quite impressive for what is in effect an amateur league, however there is not really a defensive midfielder so it is one area I’ve improved which I will reveal in the next update and there is also only one right back in the first team so bringing in a right back who can fight for that role is another area I feel could be looked at.

Club Overview

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Aims for the save

  • To restore the club back to Serie A where they belong

  • To bring financial stability to a much troubled club

  • To play football in an entertaining way to excite the fantastic support

  • To have a thriving youth system and to develop players of our own

  • To either increase the capacity of the Ennio Tardini or look to move away long term
  • The club has never won the Italian Serie A title – that is a very long term goal however one I want to achieve and I wish this to be a long running career.