BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – JOCK THE REDEEMER

‘Miro might be my personal favourite as well as God’s favourite wrestler, but I’m God’s favourite football manager, and I am the true redeemer’ Jock proclaimed to the media that had assembled outside the training ground on the clubs first day back after the title winning season. ‘I was robbed of the opening stage title, but redeemed myself and the club in the closing stage and champions games. I can assure you we will be aiming to win it again’ were his final words.

Jock’s time at Cancun wasn’t going unnoticed. The first time Jock realised this was when his phone in the office rang, and it was the HR director of Liga MX side Queretaro, offering Jock a telephone interview for the vacant job there.

‘Why me’ was Jocks first response to the request for an interview. ‘You’ve been good with the finances and only signing a couple of players, we’re impressed with the work you’ve done in a short space of time’ was the response

No kidding I’ve done well, bossed the league didn’t I, was Jocks reply in his head. The interview lasted only 45 minutes, Jock feeling that the club had their minds set on somebody else from the start. They sat bottom of the league at that point, and Jock didn’t really want to leave Cancun just yet, but did feel a bit of interview experience might go a long way.

In the same week, Atletico San Luis also made a call to Jock for an interview. This time however they wanted to meet him face to face

He declined the sit down talk but discussed things in detail with the president over the phone. During the call Jock had asked questions like what was the board looking for, how could he (Jock) improve on his stock as a manager. Alberto replied to these questions in a positive way ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing’ and ‘You’ve got everything I as a a man in a position of responsibility look for, passion, determination and an iron will’. He also told Jock he was disappointed he didn’t want to formally discuss the role but appreciated the position Cancun were in at that time.

Queretaro also confirmed what Jock knew right away, and that was he wasn’t going to get the job. He thought he was only spoken to in order to show the public they were considering multiple people, but Munoz was always the number on choice according to the media

This didn’t knock him or his teams confidence, as they picked up right where they left off. Going 15 games unbeaten before losing the penultimate league game, Cancun finished top of the opening stage and qualified for the play offs again.

By the time they had navigated their way through the quarter finals of the opening stage, a 4-1 aggregate score over Venados as well as beating Pumas Tabasco 6-4 on aggregate where they lost the first leg, which was only the second loss so far. This meant that for the second year running, Cancun would be in the opening stage final.

If you asked Jock, and I recommend you don’t, he will tell you it is all down to his man management that got the team winning 14 of 17 games, but in reality a lot of it was to do with Claudio Pizarro joining the coaching team. He and Jock hit it off almost instantly, as both are historians of the game and take pride in their work. Many times after training the 2 would sit and talk football, continuing their discussions by text through the evenings. But the real impact the team saw was in young center forward Tommy Brockbank.

By the time Cancun had laced them up and took to the field to face Tampico, Tommy had managed an impressive 26 goals in 22 games! The work he’d been putting in with Claudio and Jock paying dividends. Jock and Claudio were designing plays to get the ball into Brockbank quick and often, whilst using last seasons top scorer Delgadillo as his strike partner.

The first leg of the opening stage final was more of the same for Cancun. Despite going behind after 16 minutes to a thunderbolt of a free kick, Cancun controlled the game from then on out

As the Tampico players went back to their own half, Jock was uncharacteristically calm despite going behind early in the game. He motioned to the central players and gave instructions, and before long they were back in the game.

Delgadillo and Brockbank working exceptionally well together, as they have all season, linking up to level the scores. Delgadillo bagging his 50th for the club with the equaliser

Starting the second half as they finished the first, on the front foot, a succession of crosses and corners found their way into the Tampico box. From one of these corners, Alonso flicked it on at the near post which found Barcenas at the far post, he hit it on the volley to finally give Cancun the lead they more than deserved

It was another corner that gave Cancun a 2 goal lead, this time Brockbank getting his head on it at the near post to give them a 3-1 lead with 10 minutes to play

Tampico didn’t give in and nearly reduced the deficit to 3-2, although Salas was in an offside position when the ball came in from the left. This seemed to spur Cancun on even more, and Delgadillo getting his second in the closing stages to give Cancun a 4-1 lead heading into the second leg.


Previous chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – WHEN JOCK MET CLAUDIO

First chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – PROLOGUE PART I

2 thoughts on “BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – JOCK THE REDEEMER

  1. Pingback: BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – WHEN JOCK MET CLAUDIO | On the Break

  2. Pingback: BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN -THE BEGINNING OF THE END, OR THE END OF MY BEGINNING? | On the Break

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