‘Okay, so what about alcohol? How do you say taco in Spanish?’ Jock asked
‘Um, alcohol?’ Hector, the groundskeeper at Cancun FC replied
‘Yes, alcohol, how do you say alcohol in Spanish?’
‘I already said alcohol’
‘No, amigo, you say alcohol as alcohol in Spanish’
‘Ooooh, right. What about burrito?’
‘Not this again. You say burrito, as burrito in Spanish’
‘Such a beautiful language. Tell me bro, how do you say..(Jock did that stupid cough thing people do when they’re about to give a speech) ‘All Rangers players are dog nonces and Dundee Untied are the greatest football club in the history of the universe’
Hector just looked at Jock in a puzzled way. ‘Actually, don’t tell me that, I’ll only get in trouble with the Mexican FA again’
Again being the key word, as Jock was sent an official written warning, yes a WRITTEN warning from the Mexican FA for his actions towards the officials during the 2 legged tie of the opening stage final, where Atlante were given a goal that was judged to be offside. Jocks threats toward the fourth official didn’t help matters.
That warning only seemed to put more fire in his belly, as he announced in a meeting with the board to discuss this warning ‘If you thought Jose Mourinho talks shit, you ain’t seen nothing yet boys, I’m going to verbally destroy anyone that challenges me!’. The board seem fine with this attitude, as they’re still on board with the rookie manager heading into the closing stage of the season.
On the morning the players were back after a break from the end of the opening stage, Jocks phone rang. Withheld number.
‘Is this Jock McGhee?’
‘It depends who’s asking’
‘I’m calling to help you out’
‘Doubt it, I probably owe you money, but guess what pal I’m in Mexico so you’ll have to wait a while longer before…’
The caller cut him off ‘Shut up will ya’, you don’t owe me anything, not yet at least. If you go back to the dressing room you’ll meet your new left full back who will help you out. Not to mention the deal for the young Yank, remember he’s highly rated up North, so look after him’
‘Have a nice day Jock’
Click. The call ended, and as it did Rosie, who’s job title Jock didn’t really know approached him
‘The player from Chile is here Jock, he’s in the players lounge. We just need to get his staff card activated and he’ll be ready to go’
‘Right, the guy on the phone wasn’t lying’
‘I dunno, some bloke. I don’t suppose there’s a random American kid hanging around the place is there?’
‘Oh yes, Tommy, he’s here too, why did you call him random? I thought you organsied the deal?’
‘If you say so pet. I’ll be there shortly’
The caller wasn’t lying. The club managed to secure deals for left back Jens Buss from Chile and an up and coming center forward from America, Tommy Brockbank
Buss would be replacing on loan full back Sanchez, who’s deal ended on New Years day, and Club Leon weren’t willing to let him go back. If the rumors in the press were true, after scoring 17 in 27 league games for the Portland under 23’s, Brockbank was wanted by MLS side Houston Dynamo. How true that was would remain to be seen, but for a 20 year old he looks decent enough at the minute, although whoever arranged the deal had confirmed with Brockbank he would be a role player this season with the aim being him improving over time to become a first team regular, at Cancun or otherwise
The only other noteworthy transfer news at that time was Cancun had managed to secure Michael Perez to a permanent deal
Perez had been ever present up to that point and was one of the reasons Cancun had made it to the opening stage final, so securing him to a permanent deal was seen as vital within the club.
The signing of Buss & Perez, as well as the gamble of Brockbank paid off in surprising fashion. An argument could be that it all started after the second league game after the restart. Trailing 1-0 at home to Venados and playing poorly, Jock gave the team a dressing down. Not quite hairdryer treatment but her certainly spoke his mind, and it worked.
Cancun were a different team in the second half and a 3-1 win was more than justified, just ask leading scorer Delgadillo
The team kept on picking up points, with most of the goals coming from an unlikely source. On loan center half Luis Alonso had been a threat from set pieces ever since the opening stage final, and by the time we arrived at the end of closing stage, he had even managed to score 4 of the teams 5 against Leones Negros. Yes you read that right!
Finishing the closing stage top of the league with 13 wins and 46 points (some of the rules in Mexico are weird, like you get 4 points for an away win, but only for the first 8 away wins?!?) the team were handed a quarter final tie against fourth placed Mineros
Switching our focus from Mexico back to England now, and remember when Newcastle got that takeover and became the richest club in the world? Well Edward John Frank Howe made history with Newcastle as they won the league in his first season at the club.
Before we head into the quarter final of the closing stage, the clubs director of football presented Jock with a report
‘And this is what, exactly bro? Jock asked Alejandro Vela
‘Our new recruits, the newest players into the youth team here’
‘Ahh, what’s with this guys eyebrows though?’
‘It must be the in thing amongst the youth of Mexico. But that is Manuel Castillo, he’s pretty good we should keep an eye on his progress. I’m also high on Alan Garcia too’
The aim in the short time is simple, do what they can to get to the closing stage final. If Cancun win that, then they’ll have a chance of winning the full league.
Next chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – TOUCHING DISTANCE
Previous chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – THE GOAL THAT WASN’T
First chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – PROLOGUE PART I