It might be that soccer football first hooked me in when I was just six years old, reeling away in the consummate glory of having powered that familiar sphere past a hapless keeper for the first time. Perhaps it was seven years later when I stood outside Arsenal's famous old stadium of Highbury, dreamily soaking in the thunderous elation of 38,000 cheers, all the while crying inside because I was not one of those within. Or maybe it was when I could combine it with my true love; gaming, of course. This is most likely the disheartening truth.
It occurred when a kindly uncle, unaware of the exponential tsunami he was unleashing, bought me Premier Manager 2 as a Christmas present in 1993. The game's directive was simple, take control of a lowly conference side and rise to the upper echelons of the beautiful game through careful supervision of players, tactics and finances. It may sound dull, but the thing with sports management sims, and the majority of simulation games for that matter, is that they tap into that primordial belief that we can do a better job than the next guy. It's this unwavering conviction that manifests itself in the bitter shake of the head of every football fan around the globe. We know that the shams we see weekly would never be allowed to transpire under our vigilant watch. It's games like Premier Manager 2 that give us the chance to prove it.