2021-05-05 20:55

Ronald sat back in his office chair. In his hand he was holding a glass of very expensive scotch whisky. He didn't normally drink and if he did drink it was never in his office. But he needed some Dutch courage right now. He wryly smiled at his own word play in his head.

It was the start of the third season of the Deventer Devils. In only the second season, they had made the play offs! What an achievement that had been. And even more so with just a bare bone squad of the players he had signed from practice squads around the league with players added via the draft. Yes, hiring coach Muriki had been a wise move for the team. But had it been a good move for him?

It was clear to him he had hired someone who was pretty eccentric and who would do things very different then was usual in the Netherlands. His strange devil inspired methodology and shamanistic approach to football was bound to kick up a fuss. He had been ready to deal with the fall out from the outside. What he hadn't anticipated was the blowback from the inside. Muriki was a coach who demanded, and got, extreme loyalty from his players. This was fine as long as the coach and him saw eye to eye.

However this had not been the case over the position of QB Albert Jacobs in the team. He had forced the issue and got Muriki to swallow his pride and make him the starting QB. He had played the issue extremely hard, harder then any business deal he had ever struck.

And this is why he was knocking back a 450 dollar whisky. Why had he played it so hard? Privately he admitted to himself that Muriki obviously knew more about football then he did. And Muriki was on the field every day. Heck, even he could see Jacobs was not the best QB at the club. His stat line had been embarrassing him ever since he forced Muriki to start him.

Was it pride? He delved deep into his inner psyche. No, it was not that entirely. There was something else. He took another sip. Slowly he felt the normal rigidness of his mind relax. He was getting somewhere, he was close to the truth. He could feel it. Another sip, a large one this time.

As his mind became foggy he also paradoxically felt a clarity start to emerge. Yes, that was it. There was a bit of pride there. But more it was the fear of acknowledging that someone knew better then him. In a business that he started and owned.

This is how he had built his own cheese empire. By knowing better then everyone, by being able to make the right decisions at the right time. Just like that take over of the canadian dairy firm that had put him on the map overseas.

But here, right at home, at his club, he had to admit, that no, he was not the one who knew best. When it came to football matters, it was coach Muriki! For business, selling shirts, buiding a stadium, marketing, he was the guy. But for footballing matters it had to be coach Muriki! But how?! He felt intensely that the belief that knew best in business he owned, was so deeply ingrained in his psyche, that he instinctively knew he could not change it.

Another sip of whisky. He was tipsy. At the very least. But it was good, he needed this. What was the solution. He needed to decide before the first game of the season otherwise he felt sure the club would implode before the season was over. He needed to talk to the coach, he was part of the solution and it was time he started to treat him as such.

He rang his secretary: " here" he mumbled, taking another sip of the whisky as he talked. It didn't take long for Muriki to arrive. He was certain the coach must know he had been drinking but despite his devilish ways, he was always so damn composed and calm.

He told Muriki what he had been pondering over, not even sure if he made sense. But Muriki listened and nodded. When he stopped, Muriki spoke: "I have sensed this duality in you from the beginning. Realisation is the first step to resolution. I can help. Here, look at this mascot I got on this rope."

Ronald saw some sort of voodoo doll swing in front of him, he followed the doll as it swung from left to right and back. He was getting dizzy. He heard Muriki start to chant words he could not comprehend, he was also sure he smelt smoke, but where from he had no idea. With a sudden bang he was brought back to his senses. Muriki had slammed a bottle on his desk. "Here Mr Vennegoor, drink this, it will fix your current state of haziness in a few seconds".

He opened the bottle, what a stench! He put the bottle to his lips, why was he doing this? Somehow he felt it was what he needed to do however. He felt a bond between him and the coach that was unbreakable. He knew and felt it now: they had always been destined to be together and achieve great things!

He took a sip and indeed, the haziness cleared and he suddenly felt fresh and alert again. He smiled at Muriki who smiled back at him. He spoke: "Destiny is a powerful force and it shows right now. Your personal insights have come at the same time as another development here at the club." When he stopped talking the door behind him opened and he saw Sheik Sulaiman, the dad of The Deventer Devils' LB Suleiman Sulaiman, come in. He approached him with outstretched hand and said: "It is about time we talked about the structure of the club Mr Vennegoor".

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Tags: Inside Deventer Devils

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