#FM17 : Hope of Hapoel 1.5 : know-nothing gaffer

Hapole Ashkemon FC's Sala Stadium. Image by Little Savage kindly provided under a creative commons licence.


It’s coffee time on my first morning in charge at Hapoel Ashkelon FC. Flushed with the success of having physios and scouts accept my job offers, I take a break and heat some Lebanese coffee (like Turkish coffee, but flavoured with cardamom) in a little coffee pot.

Since coming to Israel, I’ve been trying to become more Middle Eastern in my ways.

But I’m worried. Not so long ago, you could migrate to another country and leave your past behind you. Now, with the worldwide web, it’s not so easy. What happens when people Google me?

It’s not that I’ve anything terrible to hide. No convictions. It’s just that people might wonder how a career working for book publishers and then running a communications consultancy equips me to manage in the Israeli Premier League.

But, though it’s not clear how all those years spent dining authors, liaising with designers, writing bids, etc. have enabled me to achieve the highest possible attribute scores for tactical coaching, that’s what my profile confirms I have.

The same goes for mental coaching, though here there’s even more of a mystery: when exactly does mental coaching occur? And precisely how does it impact on performance?

Search me! I’m supposedly an expert mental coach but I can’t begin to answer those questions. I suppose mental coaching just supplements my tactical coaching, helping to ensure that players understand and remember what the gaffer’s been on about. And perhaps it helps, in some general way, to keep people focused, satisfied, or confident. I dunno.

Does anyone else have the answers?

Overall, coaching isn’t really my thing. That’s what I’m going to employ coaches for. I see myself more with the suits, making strategic decisions, handling the press, and so on. My background’s not such bad preparation for that.


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