How I looked at it, she was living rent free in the Caribbean, living the dream of literally doing fuck all every day and not having to pay a thing, and who would want that to end?
As luck, or fate, would have it, our next opponents in the Champions League was none other than Parham FC, current league holders of the cup and league champions, as well as the new team of my main striker Jelano Cruden
Obviously I want to win every game, but this game I really wanted to win, despite knowing how hard it was going to be. That snake Jelano didn’t speak to me before the game and avoided me at the full time whistle as well. I didn’t make an effort to find him afterwards either, we’d done what his new couldn’t do, and that was win the game.
In an effort to set the tone for the season, we set up with a clear plan in mind to sit deep and try and get teams on the counter , and we did it expertly well. Clearing up a low cross in our defensive third we raced up field using the wings and found young forward Tumwa in acres of space, he headed it home and we were on our way
The game wasn’t over by any means, but Parham were pretty quiet for most of it, and our defence held firm, as we grinded out the result to knock the holders out of the cup! I silently thought to myself, if they’re the league and cup holders, we’re not going to have any issues staying up that following season!
The run didn’t last as we got knocked out in the next round, but I wasn’t too concerned, we were never going to win it and we would be looking to consolidate and stay in the division next season anyway. Plus 2 players had left us for new clubs, and we’d beaten both of those clubs, so I was happy in that regard.
It’s around this time my problems with the toaster really started. For me, it was about working in football, getting some experience and hopefully moving on to bigger and better things. I knew with my limited success in my first 2 seasons, whichever way you look at it I’d managed 2 league titles in 2 seasons no matter the level of football, I knew that to achieve greatness I’d need to either continue winning and improving in the Caribbean to secure a move elsewhere, or that move would need to be made soon. Every time throughout that year in Antigua that I brought up my aims for my career the toaster would try and usually succeed in shooting me down.
How I looked at it, she was living rent free in the Caribbean, living the dream of literally doing fuck all every day and not having to pay a thing, and who would want that to end? I’d even thought about leaving her and asking to leave our apartment, but I genuinely felt bad even thinking about that so held off that conversation.
Despite that concern in my personal life, my professional life was continuing on. I’d signed my first ever contract extension, and to my surprise the chairman insisted on a 10% release fee. I think this was to ensure I’d be at All Saints until the end of that season regardless, but I kept saying to myself I’d see how things pan out that season before making any other decisions regarding my career
With 2 players leaving, we had to replace them, and I left that up to the clubs scouting department, as I knew next to nothing about available players in Antigua, and really, they came up trumps
They’d managed deals for 3 players, 2 forwards and a center half, all on free transfers to really set us up that season.
Berger was brought in as a back up, But Joseph and Solomon would go straight into the first team.
Solomon had been released by Empire and Joseph was at Old Road, both teams we’d be playing that season in the top division. Heading into the league that year, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder with the lads that left. I told my team that if we turn up and play every week we won’t need to worry about struggling, but if not then we’re probably going back down. Only time would tell if that mentality was going to pay off.
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