Before our hero can properly assess the squad at his disposal in the form of a competitive game, Jock had his first proper meeting with Jose Luis Argones, the Cancun FC chairman, not chairperson 😉
‘I hope you’re settling in fine Jock’ He said as Jock sat down. ‘As discussed already myself and the board will be handing everything other than training, picking the team and managing games. Any questions at this time?’ He finished saying, speaking in as near perfect English as any non-native English speaker could be, Jock thought.
‘Erm, yes. What do I do about signing any players that I want?’
‘Well you leave that to me’
‘How do I send scouts out to look for players in positions I identify we need?’
‘Again you leave that to me’
‘Okay, so how do you know what or who I need? Do I just….’
Jose cut him off again ‘You just leave everything to me. Literally everything okay’
‘Noted, can I ask another question?’
Jose rolled his eyes ‘Go on’
‘Well, I don’t know if you know, but I’m Scottish, I’m a Jock that’s called Jock, anyway I speak English, I don’t speak Mexican’
‘Mexican isn’t a language Jock (he said this in a really condescending way). What it is your real name anyway?’ Before Jock could answer, Jose continued ‘Don’t answer that actually. Here in Mexico, just like a lot of other countries around here and the South the language is Spanish’ Jock attempted to speak at this ‘Don’t ask anything yet. I myself am from a place called El Salvador, I don’t expect you to know where that is, and I speak English, Italian and Spanish’ Jock figured he’d have to learn a new language to communicate with the team. But he’d managed to build up a relationship with the grounds keeper Hector, at least for now.
‘Lads, you don’t like me and I don’t…’ he paused before continuing ‘Well I don’t know you that well do I?’
Hector was the clubs groundskeeper’s name Jock found out, and repeated Jocks words to the players
‘But between us, well mostly my direction and you listening to me, I think we can win a few games this season, and not finish bottom of the league’. Hector translated, we think.
Turning to the job at hand Jock has found himself in, the media, bless them, reckon Cancun FC can finish a modest 9th in the league, despite Jocks experience.
But before he could really assess the squad, a lady of around 30 or so came walking over. Jock’s eyes lit up
‘And who might you be flower? He said
‘My name is Rosie’ she replied, but before she could continue Jock butted in
‘Are you my personal assistant, like to give me special favours an that?’
She didn’t bite. ‘No, I’m here to keep an eye on you and make sure you don’t do anything stupid’
‘Love, stupid is my middle name’ Jock said with a smile
‘Oh really, it says on the paperwork your middle name is Vincent’
(Remember when I said people wouldn’t get your humor? Shut up will ya.)
She then said ‘We’ve got our first league game of the new season in a few days, and we really need to speak about it’
‘I’m sure we will, I just haven’t got time right now’ Jock replied.
‘You need to know about the rules’
‘Like I told the chairman, I make my own rules’
‘No, the league rules’
‘Do they play football different in Mexico? 11 start, 7 subs, 3 used, boom’
‘No, as I’m sure people have repeatedly said to you, they take grass roots seriously here in Mexico. You have to have no more than 8 over 23 players in the full squad, and at least 3 under 23’s in the starting 11 for every game, and I’m sure you’re aware, not many of the current first team are under 23’
Jock considered this for a minute, then replied ‘We’ll sort it pet. Nee bother’
‘You’re a bit relaxed by this’
‘Aye, I guess I am. How I see it, by the time MLS clubs or the world famous Dundee United or whoever else comes calling, this 3 player rule is just something else I can brag about’ and with that they both went in opposite directions.
He’s confident, I’ll give him that Rosie thought to herself. She’d seen a few different managers in her time as a football secretary in Mexico. She’d been around a few clubs aswell, but none of the managers she’d ever worked with had whatever it was Jock had. Was it confidence, arrogance or a mixture of both with a bit of anxiety chucked in for good measure? She wasn’t sure. She was sure she’d find out though.
But despite the external demeanor of someone as confident as Jock, inside he was nervous. Not nervous about what he would say or say it to, no, he was nervous that he would fail in Mexico at Cancun. He knew he could charm the pants off anyone, he had the gift of the gab, and really people would agree with him just to shut him up.
But he was a long way from home, with a team that don’t know him or his ideas, if he even had any to begin with. From landing in Mexico and arriving in Cancun, the days had gone pretty quickly, with the meeting the club staff, finding out where things were, who the players were and so on, and the first day of the new season had arrived, a match against Correcaminos
Next chapter – Back to the journey, man – You always remember your first
Previous chapter – Back to the Journey, Man – Tiempo de fiesta en Cancun
First chapter – Back to the journey, man – Prologue part i