BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END

The music the Cancun players entered the pitch to was ‘Fight Music’ by D12. Some at the club were confused by the choice of music made by Jock.

As the teams made their way to the pitch at Estadio Andres Qintana Roo, the home stadium of Cancun FC, Jock had a sense of melancholy. Why do you ask? Well despite dominating the closing stage, losing none of 17 and then only losing the first leg of the semi final against Mineros, and drawing the first leg of this final 1-1 with Cimmarrones, Jock had felt he’d achieved more than he ever thought possible with Cancun.

His pre game team talk was more of the same, nothing too fancy and to the point ‘We’ve done well all season and we’ve got a much better starting 11 than they have. It’s only a matter of time before we win this game, so go out there and win it!’

Any concerns about not winning the game were put to bed within 21 minutes. Uscanga made an uncharacteristic run from midfield into the area and managed to guide the ball home from a cross out on the left

Uscanga then turning provider 15 minutes later, swinging in a corner that on loan center half Alonso powered home at the near post to make it 2-0. Once half time came and went, Cimarrones still weren’t in the game, and the Uscanga / Alonso combo paid off again.

Another in swinging corner was met by Alonso, this time at the far post to give Cancun a 3-0 lead on the day, and 4-1 on aggregate.

A glimmer of hope, and that was all it was for Cimarrones as they pulled one back with just under 30 minutes to play, but that glimmer soon faded away when Cancun defended expertly well and kept the score at 3-1 to give them the Closing Stage title.

So if you’re keeping track at home, that’s now 4 trophies, the closing stage & champions trophy in season 2021/22, and now the opening & closing stages in season 2022/23 that Jock has managed to win.

There was no Champions Trophy game that season as Cancun won both stages, but the feeling is they would’ve won that game as well. The club were awarded the Champions Trophy anyway.

After the Closing Stage trophy was presented to the players and coaches, Jock, covered in champagne (again) stood before them (again) to give another team talk after another trophy win

‘It’s not often I say this, so make of that what you will but I’m lost for words, I truly am’ He took a breath before continuing ‘You lot more or less coached yourselves, you’re that good. Claudio has come in and given his advice on how to score goals, as Tommy and Delgadillo have found out, but for the most part you’ve gone out there and dominated each game. I’m proud of you!’

In 92 games under Jock, Cancun won a remarkable 72 of them, giving Jock a winning percentage of 78.

Beginners luck or just extremely lucky? Who knows, and that is a discussion for a different day. But the planets all did seem to align at the right time. The disappointment of losing the opening stage final to an offside goal seemed to be the catalyst for dominance.

Luis Alonso was an absolute beast from set pieces, managing 40 goals from 87 games, from center half!

The biggest beneficiaries of the season could well be Thomas Brockbank and Daniel Delgadillo. Brockbank smashing in 38 in 43 & Delgadillo chipping in with 33 in 43, to go with his 32 the previous campaign

Jens Buss, along with Alonso, was also a big reason why Cancun for the most part were so hard to break down. Coincidence or not, but the game lost in the play offs, Buss didn’t play. He had a great season all around.

The other main reason for the teams success came in the form of deep lying play maker Paul Uscanga. Signed by the previous manager but not getting much game time, he was given creative freedom and flourished in the role. In the first season under Jock he managed a remarkable 25 assists in 41 games. Although he was restricted to just 29 appearances due to injuries this season, most of those being from the bench, he grabbed 4 goals and 4 assists, the biggest goal being the opener in the final second leg.

Other names to contribute to the success of the last years, Baldovinos at right back and Monterde in goal taking over from Campestrini proving over the course of the season how good they were and contributed immensely.


But with all the fanfare the team received, all the well wishes and congratulations that never seemed to end from the board, fans and alike, there was this niggling sensation in the back of Jocks mind that maybe, just maybe this was as good as gets?

There would be promotions and relegations in the coming season in the Expansion League, but with the rules on using under 23 players and only having 8 over 23’s in the squad, the difficulty increased.

Alonso (on loan) & Baldovinos would be considered over 23 by the time next season starts, along with Cortes, Torres and Almeida all turning 24 either before or during the season. Those 5 would be added to the over 23 rule, meaning players like Delgadillo, Perez and Uscanga would find game time limited.

Jock knew half the battle of being a manager was the challenge, the need to build a team in a certain way, but felt with the upcoming changes and the fact it might be beginners luck, it might be best if he left with his head held high. Cancun have ben good to Jock there’s no doubt about it. They gave him his start in football, and when he spoke to the chairman that afternoon, there was a mutual respect between them.

‘I knew it would come to this the minute we won that final game Jock. I don’t know what it was, but I just knew. The challenge for me now is to try and get a manager in that will take this club to that next step. You put the building blocks in place, and leave a title winning squad. I genuinely wish you the best for the future, and hope our paths cross again’

‘I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I want to leave on a high. I don’t think I can top these last 2 years. But I’m sure we’ll work together at some point again. I do feel as though I will be back be here.

‘All the best. I’ll keep an eye on your career, and I’m always just a phone call away’


Next chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – THOSE WHO DANCE THROUGH THE SUMMER MUST SING IN THE WINTER

Previous chapter – BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN -THE BEGINNING OF THE END, OR THE END OF MY BEGINNING?

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

2 thoughts on “BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END

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

  2. Pingback: BACK TO THE JOURNEY, MAN – THOSE WHO DANCE THROUGH THE SUMMER MUST SING IN THE WINTER | On the Break

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