(Image via BBC.com)
What were you doing when you were 22 years old? Perhaps you were finishing up college, or starting a new job, likely mixing in some partying. Highly unlikely you were coaching a soccer team in England’s FA Cup.
That’s exactly what Romsey Town manager James Phillips is set to do, believed to be making history in England’s storied tournament. Phillips is likely to become the youngest manager in FA Cup history when Romsey Town faces Fareham Town on Saturday. The Football Association confirmed to BBC Sport they were unaware of anyone younger.
The youngster’s story and rise starts out predictably enough. He played a lot of video games in his early days, namely “Championship Manager.”
"I was one of those sad people after school who was sat there for hours playing Championship Manager," he told BBC Sport. "I always used to try and take a really small club up through the leagues."
The game piqued Phillips’ interest in coaching, kick-starting his coaching career at age 16 with Lyndhurst Football Club.
Last season, Phillips took the position of assistant reserve-team manager at Romsey Town before taking over for management duo Carl Bennett and John McFarlane. Phillips continued to impress, and named the first-team manager in April.
His ambition doesn’t stop there, either. “My ultimate aim is to work in the professional game in some capacity, whether that be as a coach or a manager, in the future.”
From playing video games to living them, Phillips has it figured out.
"Now I’m doing it in real life. It’s a little bit different with a bit more pressure."
Making history is just a BIT more pressure? Way to keep it cool, kid.
(h/t BBC Sport)