July 1st 2017
‘After various meetings with the scouting team, as well as my newly appointed assistant manager Ruben Parraga, I am very delighted to welcome these 4 players to the club. I feel all 4 will come in and contribute to a great season for ARC Oleiros’
‘Vince, as you’re aware you’re a little light in numbers overall, with no fewer than 9 players leaving as their contracts expired at the end of the season, will there be more signings coming in? the reporter from the Oleiros Football post asks, and he speaks in English
‘Yes you can be sure of that, I have already spoken to a contact at Vitoris de Setubal about getting 1 of their players in on loan, as well as a full back who is having his medical here today as well, also…’
I’m cut off by another reporter ‘You’ve not got a recognised first choice goalkeeper, surely that is a priority? He says in a rude manner
‘Thank you captain obvious. If you had let me finish, I was going to address that. Gomes made it clear he didn’t want to extend his loan deal, and wanted to try get in the Academica first team, good luck to him, but I have spoken to a contact of mine and I’ve got a meeting with a goalkeeper who I think can come in and do a job for us’
‘Can you shed any light on who he is, or where he currently plays?
‘No afraid not, I don’t want any other teams possibly catching wind of the deal, it’s 1 I’m very keen to get done. Thank you for your questions, that’s it for today’
With the 4 players we’ve got confirmed, we get confirmation that Rui Mauricio has also singed a 1 year deal. He’ll most likely rotate between left full back and left midfield.
As I make my way into the training room we get confirmation that Bruno Miranda has agreed a loan deal from Vitoria de Setubal, this is a great signing for us as not only is he a quality player he’ll only improve. I’m very happy with this signing.
With the players we’ve got, I’m confident of a good season. Whilst we’ve managed to get in 6 players to replace the ones that left, we’re still short in goal. I’ve had a meeting with the player recommended to me by an old friend back in Australia, and he seemed keen but I’ve not heard anything from him.
3 weeks later, less than 1 week before the start of the new season
As the weeks go by we have a couple of pre season friendlies and play well enough, but I’m still anxious about the goalkeeper situation. As we finish our final run out in pre season, I’m sat in the dugout in our stadium just looking around, taking it all in. It’s actually really nice, despite it being small and barely ever sees more than 300 fans, it’s a good looking little stadium. I’m thinking we need to turn this place into a fortress, a place where opposition teams won’t want to come and play, but I’m getting ahead of myself here, and as my thoughts trail off I hear a voice to my left.
‘Hey Vince, sorry I’m late, those annoying visa issues. I’m here now, when’s our first game?’ the voice said. It’s a voice I recognised from our telephone conversation a few weeks ago
‘Oh hi Carlos, better late then never! It’s good to see you again. I take it you’ve signed for us then?’ I reply
‘Yes of course, I signed 3 weeks ago, I told the HR lady, she said she’s waiting for international clearance to get me here, I thought you would’ve known?’ Carlos Espinoza, our new number 1 goalkeeper replies
‘No, I’d not heard anything, I was starting to worry, our first game of the new season is in 3 days and we’ve only got 1 goalkeeper training in the first team, however we do have 5 in the youth team, but none of those have had any first team action’
‘Ahh right, well I’m here and raring to go’
‘Great stuff, I’ll catch up with you shortly’. I can rest easy now, we’ve got the players in I wanted and whilst it was cutting it fine we managed to confirm our new goalkeeper.
The start of the new season is almost upon us, and once again we’re in Group E. Luckily for us we’ve not been drawn against any of the relegated teams from the second division, the Ledman Liga Pro, so if there was any more of an incentive to go out and take this season seriously, that was it!
We’re playing Benfica e Castelo Branco in the season opener, and hopefully we can replicate the 4-2 win over this team from last season.
Sometimes, it’s not always about the destination, but the journey, and my journey has already seen me overachieve last season. I intend to build on that this season and see where it takes us.
Next episode – Can we hit the ground running?
Previous episode – End of the season mini-sode 2