I told the players we just needed to see it out, and to not do anything stupid like concede a goal
I remember waking up on the sofa in the reception of Pikes hotel where I was still staying during my first season in Ibiza. My head was absolutely pounding from the booze and powder I’d consumed the night before. My assistant manager, Kevin Martinez was shaking me telling me to get up, it’s urgent, I’m needed right away.
Immediately I thought it was the police coming to arrest me for the murder of yellow dress 3 weeks ago, I figured my time was up and that I would be hauled off to jail. I took my time getting up and slowly made my way to the front door of the hotel, the pretty little thing with the nice eyes on reception smiled and said ‘just that way Scott, will I see you tonight?’ with a wink. I’d been buttering her up for the last couple of weeks and finally she’d agreed to see me a couple of nights ago. I replied with ‘Lets see how this meeting goes, I’ll let you know’. She giggled, I nodded and carried on walking.
I walked out on to the veranda overlooking San Antoni, one of Ibiza’s most popular districts, and sat there was club chairman Toni Garcia. He stood up, shook my hand and gestured for me to sit down.
After the pleasantries were out of the way he said ‘I’m not sure if you know why I asked to meet you here?’
‘Well, I’ve a pretty good idea’ I replied, hesitantly
‘I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with the local news?’
‘Yes, of course I have’ I hadn’t, in fear of seeing yellow dress being reported.
‘Well firstly I’m not selling the club, despite the rumours to the contrary. I’m not a millionaire that can keep throwing money at the club, but in the 11 months you’ve been here I’ve made a bit of capital, enough to keep the club going at the minute’ I sensed a but coming, which thankfully didn’t. ‘I’ve got a lot of faith in you Scott as well as the team. You’ve overachieved so far and even if we lose the next 2 games, which I don’t think we will, I’m confident you’d navigate us through the play offs to promotion’
I thought this was Toni’s idea of a pep talk, or a speech to motivate me. I also thought he’d got wind of the murder and he was trying to butter me up before hitting me with the future endeavoured speech. But what he said next was neither of those things
‘Here’s a new contract for you. It’s only for 1 extra year, but please don’t read too much into that. I’ve been stung in the past by managers and other staff demanding longer deals only for them to fuck me part way through. No matter what happens this season I want you to stay on next year’
I quickly signed the deal without reading the finer details. It was just the same deal I was on, with another year added on and a little bit of a wage rise. He didn’t mention anything else after I signed the deal and I went to the club that morning to discuss the plan for next game, in which we hoped would secure us the title.
We set up as we had all season long, 4-4-2 looking to get the ball up top quickly. Pena set up in a 4-3-3 that a lot of Spanish teams at the time used
The first half of the game was a scrappy affair. Neither side got a hold of it at all. We had a number of shots that wouldn’t trouble my Gran, and Pena also seemed content to hit the ball into row Z at any opportunity.
By half time it was 0-0. I told the players we just needed to see it out, not do anything stupid like concede a goal and we’ll be fine. The adrenaline rush at the start of the second half saw us score from a near post corner, a routine we’d been working on leading up to this game. The deal was sealed from club captain and all round great guy Marquitos as he opened his body and slotted in on his left foot from a right wing cross. Right from kick off Pena long balled their way into our box and scored. I wasn’t nervous I knew we’d either see the game out or draw 2-2.
We managed to hold on to the ball for the final 5 minutes and win arguably our biggest game of the season 2-1
We all had some champagne but didn’t go too mad. We’d won the league with 1 game to go. It would’ve been nice to win at Can Misses, our home ground we shared with CF Ibiza a week earlier, but just to win the league was a big achievement for me and the club.
1 year in, and I’d already got the team out of the fourth tier in Spain. Things were certainly looking up, or were they?
Next chapter – Was it all a dream? (Rykers journey – chapter 7)
Previous chapter – 4AM in Ibiza (Rykers journey – chapter 5)