He had been logged on for all but a minute when his email pinged, and seeing who it was from, he opened it quickly.
Hope things are going well with you. New York is interesting. The local football scene isn’t all that great, but the school actually has a very good Ice Hockey team. Different sport, men on skates swinging sticks at each other, but it’s one of the few I have found that rivals football in terms or grace an ability. I may be biased because we have a very good squad here though.
Anyhow, the reason I am writing to you today is going to be a bit convoluted. My roommates Brother is dating a girl from Montenegro, and she has a brother who players semi pro ball there, and he was telling her about this kid he saw playing at Titograd, could be the next Stevan Jovetić. Could be worth checking out?”
Coach finished reading the email, type a reply back, then called Christian Preiß, the Chief Scout.
“Mile Rodic, Montenegran, plays for Titograd-“
“Played for Titograd Coach. Linner was in the area, I asked him to stop by and take in a couple of games, he told me Rodic was on his ‘To Watch’ List and found out he had been released.”
“Any ideas why?”
“Apparently. and I am reading this from Linner himself, The young man marches to the beat of a different drummer, and while I am not sure what the color of the sky is in his world, apparently he can play Advanced Forward really well in it.”
“Where’s Linner now?”
“On his way to Croatia for about a month.”
“OK, lets see if we can get a hold of Rodic, or better yet his agent, and see if we can’t get him in for a trial.”
“On it Coach.”
Am not a fan of the Fickle, but if he’s this good at 18, and has potential?
This season has been frustratingly average. Which I expected, but still…
Théo Berdayes is everything I expected him to be, a goal scoring threat who does more than enough to help us win. The rest of the team…well, they are trying. The first part of the season got off to a poor start. My mantra has been, and will be, if we lose, fine, lets just keep it close, because goal differential matters.
The team did not get the memo. And the thing is, neither Bochum or Ingolstadt are any better than us, heck Ingolstadt is as good a relegation candidate out there as anyone else in the League. I haven’t changed the formation, everyone’s is playing in a position they are good in, just for whatever reason, they weren’t clicking.
Starting in October though…
Koln is a solid club, so drawing to them isn’t bad. Bielefeld would have been a draw if not for an Lange OG and some heroics in goal by Lavellee. Thumping Hansa Rostock looks good on paper, until you take a closer look and realize that as bad as Ingolstadt is, Rostock is worse and are also relegation candidates, so them putting three on us is troubling. Mainz thumping us in the Pokal was no surprise, finishing the year out strong though was. Something clicked for Theo, and he started converting a lot more of his chances into goal. I would love to say it was the Rostock game, but I think it was the Schalke game, where he overcame a pretty tough defense to score. The 1860 Munchen game was a snoozefest, but against Braunschweig he had numerous chances before the keeper missed one. Both Schalke and Braunschweig are gunning for promotion, but if the want to win the League, they are going to have to beat Dusseldorf. And seeing as how the score in that game could have been 4-0 them, that could be a hard ask.
At the winter break, we have 6 wins, 5 draws, and 6 losses, for 23 points. We are beating the teams were are supposed to beat more often than not, but the lack of close games and multi point losses is troubling, especially when goal differential is a tiebreaker.
Financially, we are out of the water, but not to far away from shore. We don’t have a lot in the transfer window, but if we can find value in a loan or a free, and maybe move a player or two who no longer wants to be here, all the better.
2027 is looking pretty solid, but if we are being honest a Seurat painting also looks really nice until you get in and realize its just a bunch of tiny dots with holes in-between them….
Christmas was usually a joyous time for everyone, even when the team was doing poorly. That was before the owner of the bar announced that he was stepping aside to take care of his wife, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and the first two sales had fallen thru for a variety of reasons. Now it looked like the bar was going to be closing until a new owner stepped up, and if they didn’t, they would have to find a new place to gather.
“If you had told me before the season began that Théo Berdayes would be the reason we are midtable, I would have asked you to share what you were drinking,” Hans said, looking at the paper.
“He’s had almost as many goals this season so far as Sanogo did last season,” Paul replied. He finished his beer and signaled for another.
“It’s amazing well the teams been playing,” Hans said for what seemed to be the hundredth time that night.
“Amazing what happens when the threat of administration isn’t hanging over you,” replied Sasha, finishing of her last bite of dinner.
“How close was it?” Asked Heninrich.
“I had to make a delivery there once,” Paul replied. He worked as a salesman for an office supply company when he wasn’t doing anything related to BFC Dynamo. “The whole building was a ghost town. Empty desks, no equipment on them, whole sections just…empty. And I Swear I went into one of the media rooms and saw a teenager there watching game films and taking notes.
“Otto?” Sasha, Hans and Heinrich all asked at the same time. Paul looked at them wide eyed.
“About so tall,” Paul replied, holding his hand out, “glasses, Dynamo hat and shirt.”
“Otto,” they all replied.
“Best analyst they had last season,” Heinrich said, as the waitress came by and delivered another round of drinks.
“What happened to him?” Paul asked.
“He graduated, and went off to college. Rensselaer Polytechnic in America,” replied Hans. “Kids going into Biotechnology.”
“Wow,” said Paul, and the table was quiet for a moment.
Uwe, who one would call the senior bartender if the bar actually had a hierarchy, came over and set down anther round of drinks.
“On the house,” he said with a smile. “Are all of you going to be here for the New Years celebration?” he asked, wiping his hands on his apron.
Sasha sighed, a real one, not the dramatic type everyone was accustomed to. “I love you Uwe, but celebrating the day before the bar closes isn’t my idea of a good time. Thanks for the drink though”
Everyone ignored Hans slapping Heinrich, including Sasha, which was a first for the crowd.
“Bar’s not closing,” Uwe replied with a smile, and the table came to a halt.
“We got an investor. Well, an investment group actually bought the place,” Uwe said with a smile. The table erupted in questions until Uwe quieted them down. “Klaus and a group of private investors formed a company and bought the bar.”
“Klaus as in the head of the Supporter’s Club Klaus?” Sasha asked, eyes narrowing.
“In his capacity as a private individual, yes. He had a partner convince him this was a good purchase.”
“Silent Investor?” asked Paul.
“Well, where the bar is concerned, yes. Klaus is bringing on a full time manager, if we are being honest Manfred was to stubborn thinking he could run the place and help his wife, a lot of small things have been missed. No changes from the outside, but the plumbing and electrical need some work, the place could use a makeover,” Uwe said, looking around. The others didn’t disagree with him.
“You turn this place into some modern mirrored and metal boutique bar serving god knows what from god knows where I’ll kill you myself,” Sasha said, taking and long drink and eyeing Uwe over the mug. Uwe wasn’t sure if she was joking, but when both Heinrich and Hans said they had shovels and would help, he smiled and sighed.
“Nothing as serious as that,” Uwe said. “Besides, that’s not what Klaus or his other major investor want.”
“Who’s this other investor?” Paul asked, eyes narrowing.
“He’s at the bar,” Uwe said. “Turn around, and wave.” He smiled and turned around.
Sasha wasn’t the only one who spit her beer out when she saw Coach Schmidt smile and raise his own beer at them.