‘Why, why am I complaining?’ Jock asked no one in particular. ‘Well fuck you Dundee, fuck you very much!’ Again, to no one in particular. ‘I swear on my mam, I swear one day, one fucking day Dundee I will be back, and I will manage you and I will make you relevant again!’ (Narrators note, were Dundee United ever relevant? Answers in the comments below please)
‘Listen, on the one hand it’s upsetting, heart-breaking really that they’ve gone down, but on the other hand just think if they stay shite and don’t come back up, that’ll improve your chances of getting that gig won’t it’ Jocks best friend had said on the phone earlier that morning
‘You think I’ll ever get that job?’
‘Well you’re shite, and if Barry Ferguson (Dundee’s manager that joined part way through the season) continues being shite they’ll probably end up in League 2, and they can’t do any worse than you can they’
‘Thanks for the support arsehole!’
Despite losing all optimism for the club he supports, the club he manages are in a great position. For you see they have once again gotten themselves to within touching distance of a trophy.
Morelia were dispatched 2-1 in the first leg, 3-1 in the second to set up a closing stage final tie, also 2 legged, against Pumas Tabasco, which is Club Universidad Nacional FC, UNAM for short, or simply known as Pumas’, reserve side. UNAM are one of Mexico’s top clubs, and the reserves are no pushover
Throughout the season Cancun and Pumas Tabasco have beaten each other once, Cancun winning 4-2 away and Pumas winning 3-1 away. But it didn’t take Cancun much effort booking their place in the Champions Trophy game, the winners of the opening & closing stage meeting to decide the overall league winner.
A 2-1 away win in which the score line flattered Pumas, Cancun testing their keeper time and time again only to be denied, and a 3-0 home win securing a 5-1 aggregate win in the Closing Stage final.
Which meant that in 1 short year, Jock had managed to win a trophy
The next challenge for Jock and the players of Cancun would be to avenge the Opening Stage final loss to CF Atlante, who are now the opponents in the Champions Trophy match
Jocks pre match words were short, simple and to the point ‘Beat these fuckers today, beat them and that shit house manager, beat their bus driver, beat the kit man, beat every…’
Nicolas cut Jock off as was the norm ‘Jock, stop, you do this every damn time! I’ll take it from here, you go and calm yourself down’ as Jock stopped the players stood up and walked to the pitch. They knew what they had to do.
Cancun is a young team, formed only 2 years ago in 2020 and to get to both stage finals within in 2 seasons is quite remarkable. And to do it with someone like Jock in charge as well….
From kick off Atlante, the favourites were dominating the early part of the game in terms of possession but never really threatened Campestini in the Cancun net. That was until 11 minutes in and a free kick about 40 yards out just off center changed the complexion of the game.
The ball was floated in by Patida, who if you remember scored a free kick in the Opening stage final second leg to more or less secure that tie. The ball was hit toward the far post where forward Tamay was lurking and jumped higher than anyone else to head it home past the keeper
The Atlante bench were up and jumping with joy, Jock threw his Gatorade across the floor and was marching toward the bench, to do or say what, no one knows. But luckily for him and Cancun, the linesmen was stood prone with his flag in the air. He noticed at least 3 Atlante players were offside when the ball was played. No goal, 0-0, game on
When the Atlante bench realised what was going on Jock screamed ‘Justification you greasy prick, now you know how it feels!’ referring to the offside goal that was given against Cancun in the reverse fixture 6 months ago. Once play resumed Jock was animated, as always, on the sideline, which did next to nothing to for his players
Costa, who had scored 29 at that point then changed the game even more by tapping into the net when Campestrini fumbled
This time Jock motioned to Delgadillo and Zambrano to come and talk tactics. Whatever was said worked, as Zambrano and Delgadillo linked up expertly well to level the scores within 5 minutes. A through ball from Zambrano was flicked in by Delgadillo, goal number 33 for the season, much to the dismay of the home fans
Half time came and Jock and Nicolas were in agreement when they told the players to keep going, Atlante aren’t expecting much from Cancun being the favourites. Delgaillo especially responded in a motivated way by declaring to the team in Spanish ‘Get me the ball, I will do the rest’. Jock didn’t ask what he said, but knew it was positive.
The positivity from Delgadillo was felt by everyone in the Cancun team. Delgadillo, despite being a forward was dictating the game. Dropping deep to get the ball, finding the wingers out wide and providing the assist for Rangel to give Cancun the lead, he really was leading by example
They saw the game out without any real threat from Atlante. They had a couple of shots but nothing that could be declared clear cut.
‘Gentleman, amigos, that was as good a showing as we could have hoped for. We didn’t ride our luck and we deserved that win. They will probably come out and take it to us in the return leg, but for now go eat some paella, drink some mojitos and watch the bull fighting, you’ve earned it’ Jock said on the teams way out of the ground
‘What did he just say?’ Paul Uscanga asked Luciano Bocco (who speaks a bit of English)
‘Dunno, something about being gay I think’ Bocco replied sheepishly.
Previous chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – HOPE IS THE PHYSICIAN OF EACH MISERY
First chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – PROLOGUE PART I