On the verge of greatness

‘So Vince, here you are, taking your unfancied ARC Oleiros team into the Champions Play off game against Freamunde. Just how do you feel knowing you could win the league in this game?’ The reporter asks as I make my way into the estadio do fontelo, home of Viseu

‘Hard work and committed players really. I always told the team to believe that we can win any game and this season there’s been no pressure. I’m happy with where we’re at, we’ve got promotion in the bag, winning this game and the trophy that comes with would be the icing on the cake, but as I say, we’re happy with what we’ve done so far’

‘Can you win the game? Freamunde come into this off the back of winning the last 2 games and are the overwhelming favourites’

‘All season long we’ve been the underdogs, nothing in that regard is going to change. The pressure is all on Freamunde to win the game. We can play our natural game and with confidence. Thanks for your time’

I make my way into the dressing rooms, the players are all there getting ready for the game and Ruben Parraga is explaining something to Dentinho and Nilson, our 2 starting forwards

‘Just don’t do it, leave the space where it is, they’ll have to commit men forward, oh hi Vince, I’m just telling the boys how to exploit the gap in defence we scouted last week’ he says

‘Great stuff, their center halves don’t like pace coming at them, like Ruben says they’re going to have to commit men forward, we’ll exploit that with both of your pace’.

After naming the starters and giving a small team talk basically saying go out there and have fun, the pressure is all on Freamunde, if we win the game great stuff, it’s not going to define our season. Call me unprofessional, but I’m treating this game as a pre-season friendly. All the hard work has gone into securing promotion, Freamunde should be winning this game, so with that in mind I’m not nervous or worried. Whatever will be, will be.

Everything that has happened this season led to this moment, this one moment that made me realise, despite by my own admissions this game was a hiding to nothing, that I’ve achieved something incredible here this season.

To say we didn’t deserve this would be an understatement. We went 2 goals up in the first half and never looked back. Freamunde just didn’t look like getting into the game at all. Were they complacent? Who knows but what I do know is we are the champions!

With that the season comes to a close. I set out to bring silverware to this club and I’ve done just that. We won the division despite being favourites to get relegated. End of season awards sees Farinha grabbing player of the season, Edivandio gets goal and signing of the season too.

Just as I head off for my own break, the chairman calls me into his office

‘Firstly Vince, absolutely fantastic season for us, you’ve done something incredible this year’

‘Thanks, it’s just…’

He cuts me off ‘Keep it up, as next season it’s going to be even harder, I just want you to know the only thing I’m asking of you is that you give it a go, try not to be outclassed, and fight bravely against the drop’

‘We will I can assure you of that, and that we’ll take nothing for granted’

As we’re now in the division above, we’ve taken a loan out to enable us to turn the club fully professional’

‘That’s fantastic news, believe me I’ll do everything I can to keep this club in the league next season!’

‘That’s good to hear, we’ve also started work on expanding the stadium as well. There’s regulations in the division so we’ve got that being completed to look forward to as well’

‘Great news’

‘One last thing before you leave, here is the offer of a new contract. As we’re now full time your’s, as well as the staff and players contracts have all been changed to reflect the extra days you’ll be here’

‘Of course I’ll sign. Thanks for the support’

Things are certainly looking good for the future. I know I won’t have the funds to attract top level quality players, but if I can get a couple of players in to complement the team already here, we may have a good chance of staying up next season.

I came into Oleiros with an idea of getting my foot in the door in the management game, and now after 2 short seasons the people of this small town call me O rei de Oleiros, the king of Oleiros.

Previous episode – Is an unlikely promotion on the cards?

2 thoughts on “On the verge of greatness

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