“I am sorry Justin. The board just decided to go in a different direction.”
Justin gritted his teeth and nodded. He’d spent the last three season here in Leipzig. Working hard for Lokomotiv as assistant manager to Wolfgang Wolf. Hard years for the English assistant out of his comfort zone, but rewarding years. He’d collected some badges, made a name for himself locally, and then last year it had all come together nicely with promotion back into the 3. Liga with Lokomotiv.
With promotion had come media attention. And with that a better offer for manager Wolfgang. He’d made noises about wanting to bring Justin along with him but in truth when it fell through Justin wasn’t too bothered. He’d confidently thrown his hat into the ring for the now open manager spot. And now he’d just had that hat thrown back out.
The president filled the silence Justin had left. “We would like you to stay though.”
“That’s kind of you Tim.”
The deadpan delivery was lost on the club’s President. The chubby-cheeked and generally affable Tim Birngruber continued, “No, no. It’s not a …a kindness. You’re part of the family. You know the players. What do you Englishmen call them? The Lads?”
Justin fixed his gaze on one of the many faded framed newspaper cut-outs behind the President’s desk and just nodded. Much better to bite his tongue and take in the details of Lokomotiv Leipzig’s wall of past glories whilst Tim blathered on. For a team with such history, the first national German champions, the wall was a little on the bare side. But that was a running theme for the fallen giants. Everything had a well-loved but empty feel, from the beige office of the club President to the empty stands of the Bruno-Plache Stadion.
Running a sweaty hand through his comb-over the President ploughed on. “Yes, the Lads. They love you. And we need a steady hand. The promotion, a new manager…”. Tim coughed and then carried on quickly, “…it’s a lot of upheaval and we need some stability. We can’t be relegated. I refused to let us be relegated. For too long we have been in the shadow of lesser teams from Leipzig, of lesser teams from Saxony! We might not have a fancy sponsor or… or…logo’s or…” He was started to splutter now.
To save himself from listening to a very familiar rant Justin stepped in. Over three years he had heard enough about the evils of Red Bull. “Will this new manager even want me around?”. Justin was genuinely concerned. His disappointment momentarily put aside as the practical issues of paying the mortgage were remembered.
“He comes with no baggage.” Birngruber waved his hands dismissively. “Other than a few req…”
There was a gentle but insistent rapping on the office door. “Ah…here he comes now.”
Alles Klar Justin?
The door swept open and the new manager of Lokomotiv glided in. A beige, burgundy and tan shadow straight from the 1980’s carrying with him the faint smell of talcum powder and Brut.
A few mumbled words of German to Tim and then the newcomer turned to face Justin. “Ah this must be Justin.”
Lokomotiv’s assistant manager was thrown by the sudden switch into English. Other than calls to his parents he had spent almost all of the last three years converting his rusty German into something passable. No one at the club had spoken to him in anything other than German.
“Ja, ich heiße Justin Smart. Ich bin der…”
The newcomer cut him off with a leer. “Nein, with your own tongue, please. It has been years since I spent time in England and want you to take me in your mouth. Alles klar?”
Justin stuttered as he tried to compute the broken english the new manager was insisting on using, “Erm, ja, I mean…yes sure Herr…?”
With a bow that sent his floppy fringe bobbing the manager replied, “Lipp. Wolf Lipp. I spent some time on your island. A little place called Royston Vasey. You know it?”
“Can’t say that I have. Is it near Swansea?”
“No, but visiting was a real good treat. Mhm!” Lipp paused to slip off his leather gloves. “I spent some time coaching the young fussball team before I went back to the Duisburg.
The President rose from his desk. “He made quite the name for himself.”
“Don’t you mean Kin..” Justin was struggling to keep up with Herr Lipp.
“But Justin. Justin. My very own Justin. Together we will do so much more here.” Wolf extended a sweaty palm, “You will be my right handy man. Alles Klar?”
Welcome to my FM20 Lokomotiv Leipzig Save
Now we’ve met the Manager Wolf Lipp, and his soon to be long-suffering assistant Justin Smart we can cover some more of the details. I’ve been wanting a new save I can play whilst I do midnight feeds. Something to act as an alternative to the recording and rendering involved in my youtube series. When FM Stag mentioned the insane money in the German leagues I knew it would be a good place to go.
But who to manage the team? And which team to go for? Well if you’re a League of Gentleman fan you’ll recognise Herr Lipp. And if you’re not then you’ll be thoroughly confused. It’s not safe for work, but take a look at the video before to get an idea of the character of the man now leading Lokomotiv Leipzig.
The team was a little harder to pick out. I spent days loading and reloading to get a team promoted to the 3.Liga. The lowest possible level in the vanilla database for Germany. I was wanting Stuttgart Kickers or the Wormatia Worms. It took me days to realise that they in level 5, so too low to ever be promoted. With that in mind I went for the next best thing. The old and venerable, and completely overshadowed, Lokomotiv Leipzig.
A large but run-down stadium. Overtaken by upstarts Red Bull Leipzig, and finally back into the league system after years of absence. It’s got the potential to be a real rag to riches story. So long as Herr Lipp doesn’t get out of hand. All the countries in the vanilla database that border Germany have been loaded, so there are plenty of youth systems for Lipp to raid.