I was really dreading learning databases. It's an unescapable fact that I need to get my SQL-fu up to scratch though, as it's going to be a huge part of my sim.
I played around with a few different database types before settling on sqlite. It's free, it's installed already with Python, and it uses the SQL language, which I'd rate my current level of understanding just above "infant".
After a lot of stackoverflow and google searches, I stumbled upon an ebook - SQLite Python tutorial
It was worth the money. After 30 mins of reading I Was creating database tables and inserting/retrieving data. It's very basic stuff I know, but looking a database full of tables for teams/players/countries/coaches etc. populated with data from main engine was the first big "Wow, I can actually do that..." moment I've had.