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Coastoria: Part Five
As a coach approaching seven decades of existence, Neil sometimes came across as antiquated in his management style – the inevitable consequence of continuing to subscribe to the old-skool coaching textbook long after its appeal had evaporated. One section of such a manual might well be the direct default style of play he instilled, and another the ability to give a barnstormer of a pep talk at any given time – this would be writ in italics (if not large) in the textbook.
Coastoria: Part Four
Ferlant maintained their maximum points in Pool A with a 2-1 comeback victory over Maroc; Niemon earned a critical away win at Gellin by the same scoreline. As for Pool B, the impressive Arrienz edged out their nearest challengers Ganopri 1-0 and Kotela pulled off a shock 1-0 victory at Bemill with a late goal, despite having only 23% possession.
Coastoria: Part Three
Finn beamed and looked down at his boxer shorts, the only garment he was wearing, as the saturnalia around him continued. Every corner of Matt’s house was buzzing and alive with activity, soundtracked by a compilation of trance classics. Felix was deep in conversation on the far side of the room with a boy who’d had a tick shaven into the side of his hair as a forfeit for losing the raver version of ‘Play Your Cards Right’; others opted to imbibe an entire bottle of spirits, engrave a rude word upon their hands in permanent marker or simply strip off, as Finn had done. Matt himself was slumped on the floor, barely intelligible, amongst a sea of cans, balloons, straws, pills and trainers. Suddenly a thumping sound was audible; someone was at the front door outside. Who could be trying to join the party at this late stage, Finn wondered, as the pause button was hurriedly pressed on Matt’s top-of-the-range stereo.
Coastoria: Part Two
Markwell could lead anyone into coaching from some other, outside place, showing them the familiar shapes through the guiding lens of his mind. As he continued his deep and donnish discussion with Callum on the coach to a residential sports complex, the primarily young Laxonen representatives were in jocose mood – wearing their blue jerseys (with white squares adorned along the right edge), playing the card game that Finn invented (whoever is last to raise their hands in the air if a seven appears is the loser!), singing One More Step Along the World I Go (a venerable classic on the south of the island). So enthusiastic was this rendition that even assistant coach Barry joined in with the chorus: see
Coastoria: Part One
For years, Callum had been a champion coach in waiting, cruelly denied his place in the county’s sporting arena, by a Board of Directors lacking backbone, taking the safe option with that banal, quietly-spoken, vastly inferior Roger Haythney and his cadre of assistants. Despite having made numerous overtures to those ostensibly in favour, no opportunities were forthcoming; if the previous two years did not quite represent the death of his career aspirations, they did represent the moment they were cryogenically frozen, with reactivation possible only in the event of some unforeseen happening.