Lessons learned

‘All I can say is that it’s going to plan. We’ve not been blown out of the water since the restart, we’ve only lost the one game, and the referee was against us in that one, anyway with our new defensive partnership of…’ he was cut off ‘Thanks boss’ Soren Jensen stood up but Jock quickly said ‘Let me finish Soren for fuck sake. Where was I?’

 ‘You were saying how good I’ve been defensively’

‘No I wasn’t. Stop interrupting me. I’ve lost my train of thought now, Craig, any words?’

Craig whispered into Jocks ear.

‘Oh yes, how did I forget’ Jock remarked eyeballing a smiling Soren Jensen ‘Our next game is against Vejgaard, did I pronounce that right Skibbers?’ Jock ask Simon Skibsted, the club captain

‘We pronounce it as Vejgaard, you need to really pronounce the J sound’

‘Ved-jer-gaard. Ved-jee-gaard. Vej-der-gord’. Jock kept trying to say it differently each time, and failed. ‘Anyway if we beat them tomorrow they’ll be relegated, so you need to be prepared for a tough game, they should be fighting for every ball and really taking it to us, not only that but a win for us is going to keep us in the top 2 of this group’

By the time the game against Vejgaard had finished, a 2-0 win for Jocks team that demoted Vejgaard to the 3.division, all thoughts were on next season as Skovshoved could no long finish in the bottom 4 places, but that wasn’t the thinking at this point. Jock, Rene and Craig as a backroom staff wanted to continuing improving with the aim that this group of players, plus with 1 or 2 additions could push on and finish in the promotion stage next season.

The remining games for Jocks team were all about team cohesion, team bonding and all of a sudden, trust. Jock had to put his trust in the team as first choice goalkeeper Brylle had agreed a free transfer to Olstykke, Jock had to turn to his youth team.

When the club were made aware of interest from Olstykke, Karslunde & Tarnby in Brylle, Jock had spoke to him about it. ‘I’m just not sure why you’d want to leave, we’re doing well all things considered and…’ He was cut off ‘YOU’RE the reason I’m willing to leave’ ‘ME? What have I done?’ ‘It’s what you’re not doing, you’re not inspiring confidence in me or the rest of the team, I know this isn’t the Superliga but even here at this level I feel for the clubs future with you in charge’ Jock just gave him the thousand yard stare and didn’t say anything ‘See, you’ve no back bone, you’re just standing there, you really are an unknown manager going absolutely nowhere’ and with that he stormed off

Unbelieveable. If it wasn’t for me this club would already be relegated. Yeah you tell him Jock. And another thing, he’s not exactly good is he. Right on brother! Who the hell are, how’s it pronounced, Ol Stick? Old Stick? Fuck him anyway, we’ll be fine. Will we though, do we have another goalie? Aye that lad that’s been on the bench all season. Oh that 19 year old who’s not kept a clean sheet for the under 19’s all season? Yeah that’s him. You’re screwed. I know.

With 2 games to go in the league, Jock had no choice but to place 19 year old keeper Magnus Sangild in the starting line up. After spending the full season on the bench and playing for the under 19’s but not doing very well for them, he was unexpectedly handed a great opportunity to make a claim for the starting position next season. His first game was a good showing, he kept a clean sheet against Hillerod, but despite Jocks attempts at praise ‘You did good laddie’ it was Soren who piped up ‘What the boss is saying it was the full defensive as a unit that was good, not just you young man’

‘Soren would you stop butting in all the time’

‘I’m not, I was making sure the young man kept his feet firmly on the ground, nothing worse than a youngster getting too big for his boots is there boss’ Soren said

‘Whatever, look Magnus, you did well, we all did against a tough Hillerod side, and we’ve just got this final game against Naesby now, and it’s going to be a lot different’

‘Different how Jock?’

‘For gods sake Soren are you still here?!?’

‘Yes. I’m waiting until you leave’

Jock rolled his eyes ‘right, of course. Anyway, it’s different because they need a win to stay up, anything other than a win will send them down, but they also need Brabrand to lose as well, so it’s going to a tough one I think’

‘We’ll thump them and send them down as well. I’m going to put it on my Twitter that we relegated 2 sides this season’

He wasn’t lying either. The absolute mad man tweeted that night that he would be relegating Naesby

The game itself served was an advert for lower league football in Denmark. By the time half time came, Naesby were dead and buried. 5-1 to Skovshoved and Brabrand were also losing, but that meant Brabrand were staying up. Not to let anything get in the way of the great first half they just had, Jock told the team not to let up, ‘it’s the last day of the season lads, go and have some fun before we leave for a well earned holiday’. He made 2 subs, Okore for Iljazovski and Frick for Petersen.

For Naesby to have any hope of survival, they needed to score 4 unanswered goals to level the game, and then score a winner and hope Brabrand continued to get beat. They did their best right from the off. Pelle Weber grabbed a goal 3 minutes in, 5-2. Gustav Pletscher grabbed another 2 minutes later, 5-3.

The words coming out of Jocks mouth on the side line were staggering at best, but the team didn’t heed his warnings. Wave after wave of attack from Naseby was the story of the second half as Skovshoved just could not get hold of the ball, and when they did it seemed as though they forgot what to do with. ‘Not again, surely not another fucking goal’ Jock said to himself as Christensen for Naesby drive forward and turned Soren Jensen inside out as he cut in on his right foot, then hit a thunderbolt of a shot into the back of the net. 5-4 in the 68th minute, not only that but surely word must’ve gotten to the Naesby staff that Brabrand were now losing 4-0?

‘Right this is getting fucking ridiculous now. Soren, SOREN you fucking donkey, get it together will ya’ Jock screamed at Soren Jensen who had been at fault for the goal Skovshoved had just conceded

‘Can’t moan at that boss, hell of a strike’ Soren said to Jock on the touchline as Naesby used the break in play to bring on some subs

‘Hell of a strike?!? ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?!? Don’t answer that, just get back out there and sort the fucking defence out this is getting embarrassing’ He looked over at the opposition bench, they were taking their time organising who was coming and going, so Jock asked to speak to Karjasevic and Frederiksen ‘Sorry lads I know you’ve had fuck all to work off this second half, Dino I think you’ll have to drop a bit deeper and help the 4 in the middle out to try and stop them coming at us again’ Karjasevic nodded his approval and the game restarted.

Skovshoved kicked off and the ball found it’s way back to the Sangild in goal, he took a touch and steadied himself, nothing on, where’s Soren? There he is , ‘SOREN heads up’ Jock said to no-one in particular as Sangild passed the ball forward, Soren, ever the professional took the ball and played it upfield, right into the path of Naesby midfielder Andreas Bock, who ran straight back towards Soren and as he made the move forward, Bock just tapped the ball forward into the onrushing Webers path who beat the offside trap, and placed the ball into the goal. Sangild didn’t even move or try to save it. 5-5 after being 4-1 down at half time.

Jock threw his water bottle to the ground. How in the hell has this happened? That fucking Soren is having a torrid game, he’s got to come off, but I’ve no defenders left on the bench. Oh fuck it, what else can I do?

As the game restarted for the tenth time, Skovshoved for the first time since the second half started looked like creating something. Frederiksen held the ball up out wide but was fouled trying to come in field. From the resulting free kick from Ostergaard, the Naesby defence cleared it and the ball found Weber all alone at the half way line, obviously. Only right back Kjear was back and chasing down Weber, but he broke free and was one on one with keeper Sangild. He raced off his line and as he did Weber chipped the ball over his head and it was destined for goal, but at the last possible second Soren Jensen, who had raced back from the opposition area when possession was lost, had dived with his left leg extended and scorpion kicked the ball away from goal, and as he did Kjaer regained possession, hit it out to Frick on the left, who in turned switched flanks to the right and Skibsted got the ball and was all alone out wide. He whipped in a long deep cross and as was the case for most of the season Frederiksen met the ball with his head and nodded it toward the penalty area, were Oliver Ostergaard met the ball with a diving header that the keeper had no chance of stopping. 6-5 with ten minutes to go.

That sixth goal deflated Neasby. They tried in vain to reproduce their form for the previous 35 minutes of the half but nothing happened, and they knew there was no way they would score 2 more in the final 10 minutes. Skovshoved played out the remainder of the game and saw off the challenge from Naesby.

‘I don’t know what happened in the second half, but you got away with that today’

‘You read my mind boss’

‘Sit down Soren, you were the worst player on the pitch in the second half’

‘No I wasn’t I..’

‘Not now, just not now Soren. Everyone, there’s no more games to play, but that doesn’t mean our season is over, I’ll see you all tomorrow for a season debriefing’.

As for Jocks first season in management, he’d done better than anyone could have imagined. They finished second in the relegation group on 50 points, winning 14 games from 33. Between Jock, Rene, Craig and the board, they’ll look at everything and see what they can do, as next season is going to be a good one. Hopefully.

Previous chapter – Setting the pace

Chapter 1 – The beginning


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