Albrecht FC

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Albrecht F.C. are a Candelariasian football club based in the country’s capital city, Albrecht. They are widely considered the best supported club in the country and are arguably the most successful. They play home games in a deep red kit, are popularly known as The Scorpions by their supporters. Opposition fans regularly refer to them as The Deviants.

They are the reigning CMSC champions, and have won five of the last six league titles.


Foundation and Early History

Deevin Football Club were founded in 1902 by a mixture of churchgoers and impoverished tradesmen. They were far from the first club in the city, but quickly became the first to attract a genuine fan following for their style of play and unusually clean-shaven appearance (aside from their legendary goalkeeper, Francis “Frankie the Taffy” English, who remained stubbornly moustachioed to the last). They supplied four player – English, halfback and captain
<div" class="plainlinksneverexpand">deevin1911.png
The Deevin Football Club first team of 1911: CCFL Champions.
Flanked by club founder Elijah Wright and future manager Horace Hedge.
</div>K.F. Timpson and the inside forwards Bryn Dasent and Horace Durant – for the Candelarias national football team’s first ever game, against Northern Ireland, in 1907.

In 1911 Deevin finally won the Cove Combined Footer League, a record eighteen points ahead of their nearest and not-so-dearest rivals, Thompsontown Heroicals.

Their former captain and wing-half Horace “Hotlips” Hedge became manager shortly after. A lowly market-stall trader all his life, Hedge proved an astute businessman and marketer, adopting the striking red kits the club are known for today and investing in a, for the time, hugely expensive new ground; New Park.

Ironically, the one innovation he consistently refused to countenance was the idea of merging with two or three other clubs in the city to form a united Albrecht team. Committed as he was to the maintaining of the status quo of regional football across the islands, he forced Deevin to remain in the CCFL whilst the Heroicals - and teams such as the Cockyard Cricketers, Cockyard Cocks and Sorres AFC – began to make inroads in the National Foot-Ball Championship.

Finally, in 1938, Deevin FC were taken over by another locally-born businessman, Stanley Mastini; who immediately took the club into the NFBC, after a fourth straight CCFL title. A year late, the national league finally embraced professionalism.

The Professional Era and Albrecht FC

Deevin’s early attempts in the NFBC proved inauspicious, when they finished fifteenth in the Second Division in 1943. Promotion came a year later, but was followed by subsequent humiliating relegation; the club being sent down two months before the end of the season thanks to a memorably chipped goal from William Eady, a former Deevin player who had defected to Thompsontown.

On their next season in the Second Division, they earned a reputation for sheer tenacity, refusing to know when they were beaten and frequently finding last-minute winners and equalisers. This ‘sting in the tail’ led their still-thriving supporter base to give them the sobriquet of the ‘Scorpions’.

The long-awaited management of Horace Durant brought them their best times, as Deevin began to move from a solidly midtable Division One side to real title challengers, where they clearly deserved to be. Their first NFBC title, in 1954, came with something of a sour taste in the mouth as it was achieved only because the reigning champions and heavy favourites, Thompsontown, were forced to leave the league owing to financial irregularities. Unbowed however, Deevin won a second straight title, a dozen points ahead of Gassett FC, and firmly re-established themselves as one of the country’s pre-eminent clubs.

The Sixties

Deevin narrowly avoided some legal stickiness of their own when the Mastini family were involved in a high-profile corruption case, blocking off finances for two years with inevitable consequences. The club soon recovered with the youngest of the owner’s family, Cyril Mastini, firmly ensconced in the boardroom. Under Durant, the club bounced back to take another title in 1960.

The following season, the club were again involved in a minor scandal when it was revealed than their star winger at the time, Leonard Prettyman, was in fact a woman called Lilian Palsson. The country’s people and press were unsure quite how they should react to this revelation, trapped between the traditionally conservative social values of the Candelarias and a newfound fascination for media sensationalism and women’s lib. In the end, Palsson was effectively driven out of the game, though she retained a spot on the club’s board and her daughter, Lynn Lukes, remains a major shareholder to this day.

In 1963, the relegation from Division Two and ensuing financial crash of Cockyard United left Deevin as one of only two significant Albrecht clubs in the professional leagues. Cyril Mastini, much to the horror of much of the club’s following, orchestrated a merger between Deevin and two small semi-professional clubs (the Newroad Nonchalants and Capana FC) to form Albrecht FC. As much as anything, this move was designed with the Albrecht Turkish Club in mind; Turkish having moved far beyond their original community to become the other NFBC Albrecht club. Their repeated use of the single word “Albrecht” in club media had rung alarm bells over at New Park, and Mastini wisely sort to get in there first. Turkish were forced instead to settle for the shorthand moniker of A.Turks.

The new Albrecht Football Club won their first league title in that same season, but success following this was thin on the ground. A.Turks, meanwhile had found a young new hero in Millerman Sheppard; a striker who must surely be rated as C&M’s greatest ever player. While he propelled the A.Turks to four successive titles; Albrecht FC were left to languish in midtable.

By the beginning of the 1970s, the league was awash with cash and the marketing men held sway. Albrecht FC, the biggest club in the league by nationwide fan support, were promoted as the premier side in the country but failed to find that form on the pitch. Finally, under the stewardship of Sam Nascimento, the Scorpions returned to the summit to win the 1973 championship. In would be the NFBC’s last.


Candelariasian football lingered in the wilderness for several years after the league’s collapse, with Albrecht FC just one of many to choose to return for a brief time to amateurism in order to rediscover their roots. When a nationwide competition, the CMS Cup, was finally created for the 1983/84 season, Albrecht FC gleefully signed up. Loosing semi-finalists in the first year, and finalists – though again defeated – in the second; the club were clearly still among the country’s elite, and were soon invited into the new CMSC. With Nascimento back at the helm, a sturdy defence saw them crawl their way to the runners-up spot in 86/87; achieving the same result again in 88/89.

More important however was who they were runners-up to in that second season; A.Turks. Their cross-city rival’s free-flowing football reflected unfavourably on the Scorpions’; and Nascimento, never truly popular with supporters despite his successes, was given the boot.

Millerman Sheppard

Cyril Mastini then stunned supporters, journalists and players alike by announcing that A.Turks legend Millerman Sheppard would become the new manager. For the first time since the draconian anti-hooligan laws introduced at the start of the CMSC had come in, there were football-related riots in Albrecht’s streets. More sober minds wondered whether an ex-player with no managerial experience was really the right signing.

On reflection, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Sheppard, after spending much of his first season going out of his way to mend bridges with his old club, began to assemble a fearsome-looking side; bringing in proven strikers Quétin Ghandour and Wayne Thorpe and midfield destroyer Finlay Endee, and encouraging the development of home-grown youngsters such as the galloping left-winger Owen Tiller and teenage goalkeeper Reuben Uwakwe to replace near-legendary custodian Trevor Organ.

This new side was unleashed proper against the CMSC in the 90/91 season, and no other club could find an answer to it. Thorpe and Ghandour finished first and second in the Golden Boot competition for the league’s top goalscorer, and TurksKT were left trailing well back in their wake. The season was topped off with a CMS Cup win; a 3-1 victory over none other than A.Turks.

If anything, the 92/93 season was even better, as the team strengthened by the arrival of experienced midfielder Coleman Mustard went on to ease to another victory in the league and took a second ‘double’ with another CMS Cup win.

Injuries plagued the club in the following year, though Sheppard was still able to guide them to another CMS Cup final. The Scorpions ultimately finished sixth, after loosing Thorpe to a leg injury from which he never fully recovered. The club moved instead for Erdal Zafer from Khatib FC, whose goals alongside Ghandour propelled them back up to the top and a third league title in four years.

A seemingly predestined era of Albrecht FC domination never came to pass however, as the club finished a distant third in 94/95. Shorn of Mustard and Endee, they struggled throughout 95/96, eventually finding themselves in a thoroughly unwelcome relegation fight. Sheppard tried to rebuild, but the club’s youth products were not up to standard, and the rules of the CMSC meant that it seemed impossible for any club to buy their way to the title. In 96/97, they finished tenth; Sheppard waving the fans goodbye with a CMS Cup victory over TurksKT. He would never manage again.

Uwnin, Draper and Olivares

Cyril Mastini declined to rest on his laurels however, bringing in highly thought-of manager Geoffrey Unwin from Caires FC. Unwin brought with him his own players, including striker Steven Fritz and defender Marcus Mestre; and while success was not immediately forthcoming, the signs of growth were there. In 98/99, the club were back up in the title race, even leading at the half-way stage, though they eventually finished third. Once again however, they took the CMS Cup.

Long-term change was not to be however, as Unwin’s Albrecht slumped to twelfth at one stage during the 99/00 season, and he was shown the back door. Stan Draper, seen as a safe pair of hands, was promoted from his assistant; but he too failed to make the team gel.

Dissatisfied with his own performance; Mastini transferred his powers at the club to the Director of Football, Martin Hole-Simpkins. The new man and the top sacked Draper the 00/01 season, bringing in Óscar Olivares as caretaker manager until the end of the season. Hole-Simpkins’ second action as Director was to agree with A.Turks the building of a new stadium for both clubs, to be named the Millerman Sheppard Stadium. He then moved for Lloyd Donnelly; already a veteran coach who had led Green Island to the title three years before.

Lloyd Donnelly

Donnelly brought with him the likes of winger Damien Moller and defender, and later club captain, Joseph Hurtado; and guided the club to the runners-up spot; albeit a good many points behind Castillo FC. The seeds were well and truly sewn in that season for the Scorpions’ greatest ever period.

With Fritz and Erdal sparking up front; Albrecht FC looked all but unstoppable in the 02/03 season, with their only real challengers ironically A.Turks. At times, Donnelly’s gruff and remote style repelled fans, who also disliked his disinterest in the CMS Cup. In the league however, they could have no complaints at all, with Donnelly playing a highly attacking style that got results. The 02/03 season was all but a formality, Fritz and Erdal reliably finishing the seemingly endless supply of chances provided by Moller, Carl Guevara, Beck Bedin and others. A six-one win at home to Radyukevich waved goodbye to New Park.

Albrecht FC lost their title the following season, finishing two points behind the champions Gamboa FC who had built an extraordinary young team. The initial failure of Albrecht FC to adapt to their new home, the MSS, also took its toll. Donnelly took the opportunity as the season ended to take defender Sam Young from them, and partner him with the Scorpions’ own home-grown Benji Fu. With Erdal now passed the peak of his powers, Donnelly was forced to rely more and more on Young, Fu and Uwakwe in goal, and they didn’t let him down. The 05/06 league victory owed as much to them as it did the goals of Fritz.

As season 06/07 got under way it was apparent to all that many of the more offensive players were now past their best. Without the “little legend”, Steven Fritz, their title challenge could well have faded away to nothing all too soon. With him, they remained leaders throughout most of the season, eventually finishing equal on points at the summit with MarquezOW, though with better goal difference. It was their fourth title in five years.

Season XXV

Several weeks before the start of the new season, Donnelly stunned C&M’s football community by walking out on his job to take the position of manager of the national under-21 team; apparently enraged at Hole-Simpkins’ refusal to invest in new players. A desperate board gave his assistant, Trevor Organ, the job; with fans left distraught after their club’s last dalliance with a No.2 as No.1.

Their attention was briefly diverted by the announcement that the club would become the first to sign a female player in the CMSC era, when teenaged Ariddian full-back Naoki Tonnelier signed for them. But fans were all too aware that with teenage wingers in Beck Ragab and Ben Edwards; this was a very inexperienced team.

Their worst fears appeared to be realised early on, the Scorpions’ loosing the league’s opener at home to Castillo FC. Two wins on the bounce after that helped calm the nerves, but as the season went on it became clear that Organ was finding the job difficult. After just the fifth game, a 2-0 home defeat to Radyukevich, Organ was given the dreaded vote of confidence by the board. A clear victory against A.Turks helped his position, but the club were earning too many draws. By the half-way stage they had recovered to fourth, but sat seven points behind Green Island in the lead.

Their recovery however was spectacular, and by matchday thirty they had finished six points ahead of Green Island. And, for once, Fritz wasn’t even the league’s top scorer; with his large partner Alex Stromberg, and chunky young right-winger Edwards, also chipping in with their fair share. The emergence of Tonnelier and holding midfielder Matteo Corradini as real talents helped gel the team together into a fearsome unit once more. Best of all was the arrival out of nowhere of youth team product Joe Cunningham, who hit ten goals. In many ways, it was the club’s most unlikely and welcome championship.

Season XXVI

Organ goes into his second season in charge with a horribly young-looking team. Fritz, at thirty-four, has finally left for pastures new while Uwakwe is likely to step down as the first-choice ‘keeper in favour of his twenty-one year-old protégé Murphy Matthews. Alongside Corradini, Edwards, Tonnelier, Ragab and Cunningham; experience must be provided by Young, the club captain, and Fu, the captain of the C&M national team. The presence of Zwangzug international striker Peter Vanderpent alongside Cunningham looks to form a partnership well worthy of replacing Fritz and Stromberg however. Organ still appears unhappy that the club are still unwilling to spend too much money, but some of those fears were certainly allayed when the club spent a potential total of US$6.2 on Kelssek-born star Francois St. Louis; a Candelariasian record transfer fee for a left-back.

Current Team

Organ’s side are a solid 4-4-2, with the central midfielders sitting back to allow the wingers to get forward more. He prefers a large second striker to support a small, nippy front man.

GK. Murphy Matthews

Large, athletic but very young keeper; the Caribbean-Candelariasian Matthews is the protégé of legendary No.1 Reuben Uwakwe, himself a teenaged superstar for Albrecht FC. Just turned twenty-two, there is now doubting Matthews’ confidence, but he will have to establish a working rapport with his back four extremely quickly. But with a former goalkeeper as his manager; Organ must clearly be trusted to know a keeper when he sees one.

Uwakwe, now the club’s goalkeeping coach, will still be on hand to sit on the bench aged thirty-eight. Sixteen-year-old Stefan Santamaria has been poached from Arrigo Portuguese, but is clearly one for the distant future.

RB. Naoki Tonnelier

The versatile Ariddian struggled to settle-in in her first season, hardly surprisingly given the heavy media attention her presence was given, but now well into her twenties she has firmly established herself as the first choice as the right full-back. A defender first and formost, though the need to support Edwards has improved her offensive guile.

Robbie Johnson, now into his thirties, has long since settled for a stand-in role after his initial promise came to little.

LB. Francois St. Louis

The last piece in the puzzle, or an inordinately pricey left-back? Either way, much will be expected of the new signing from Castors de Outineau, now into his mid-twenties and reaching his peak.

Teenager Aaron Abdellah will provide competition, of sorts, after injury-prone Kieron Tomlinson moved to C.A.L.

CB. Sam Young

The club captain since he replaced his predecessor Joseph Hurtado in the role, Young is small for a centre-back but is excellent in the air in both boxes.

CB. Benji Fu

Now the captain of the national team, Fu is Scorpions through to his socks; his failure to be awarded the club armband by Donnelly caused minor ructions between the two centre-backs and their then-manager. But Fu, quite possibly the most well-known player in the country and the most capped internationally, is a placid lad, aside from the occasional random hack at an opponent’s shin. Tall and elegant, with excellent distribution, he is no less famous for playing the drums in his own band, Ultimate Fantasy Girlfriend.

RM. Ben Edwards

Arguably the next big talent of C&M football, though now pushing twenty-one it has proved difficult for his various coaches to discover his ideal role. Large, but without great physical presence, and slow; his ability lies in the incredible accuracy of his crosses and free-kicks. Yet his is not so great from long-range, meaning that getting the ball to him in advanced positions is a real challenge, but tactically vital.

Teenager Jackson Tanzani is a more pacey option.

LM. Beck Ragab

Edwards’ elder by two weeks; Ragab’s involvement as a starter is far from confirmed after the signing of Rod Unzurrunzaga from Melin & Nader. Neither will be happy with a place on the bench, but Ragab’s change of pace and preference to cut-in from the left may well get him the nod over the touch-line hugger Unzurrunzaga.

DM. Matteo Corradini

The lynchpin of the side and another youth-team product, Corradini was able to push former C&M international Luis Enrique Torrealba out of the team last season and retains his place this time after a particularly strong showing in the second Di Bradini Cup. A small player, but an excellent tackler.

CM. Rudy Clark

The wrong side of thirty, Clark is a mainstay of the squad weighing in with his fair share of strikes as well as his all-round all-action play. He is expected to take things a little easier this season, being an intelligent enough player to be granted something of a free role next to Corradini.

Veteran Damien Moller is still about to play a role; while another talented teenager, the imposing Jack Marshall, could also have an impact.

FW. Peter Vanderpent

Superb awareness and a classy left foot; the new arrival from Zwangzug provides leadership to the attack as well as sheer talent. Zwangzug’s recent World Cup campaign proved he can also get his fair share of goals; vital to relieve the enormous pressure on young…

STKR. Joe Cunningham

Don’t expect too much. He’s just a wee lad. Yet after the absence of Steven Fritz for XXVI was confirmed; the nineteen-year-old has been given the responsibility of filling some very small but very hallowed shoes. Ten goals last season – many of them as a substitute – went a great way to proving that he can be the finisher Organ has been praying for; while another seven in the Di Bradini Cup seemed to confirm it. But he will come up against some more experienced, and downright better, defences this season and still has it all to prove that he can out-fox them.

Strong forward Carl Guevara is still there, ready to step in in case of injury, suspension or loss of form; but Organ may favour the new signing of Yong-Michael Shin from Swords of Bass.