I’m very, very pleased with the position that I’m leaving Angrense in. Yes, I still plan to come back and pluck the best Heróis for my new team, but still.
The latest piece of big news is that Angrense have gone professional! This is a massive step forward for the club. It should enable them to keep up with the rest of the LigaPro, get players in on full time contracts, hire more staff, upgrade the facilities, the infrastructure, the quality of prawn sandwiches and all that good stuff. Borba has also decided to add 370 seats to Estádio Municipal de Angra do Heroismo, taking the seated capacity to 1306.
So all in all, the future is bright in Hero Creek and I can leave to start the next chapter of my career with a clear conscience and a spring in my step.
And bloody hell. What a difference a title winning undefeated season makes. 18 months ago, I withstood rejection after rejection after rejection, with the exception of the handful of English clubs that tried to bring me home. This Summer is… Different.
I send my CV far and wide to see who needs a new top dog, and at first the response is lukewarm. I decline LigaPro side Farense’s offer for an interview, as well as Vanarama National side Morecambe. Not a good start, I think. Offers from 2 of the only countries that I’m not currently interested in plying my trade in. I want to move on from Portugal and the time still isn’t right to go home.
I then turn down interviews with Budapest Honvéd Futball Club, a 2nd tier Hungarian side, and Union Sportive Concarnoise, a French 3rd tier side, as neither club represent a step up from Angrense. I’m willing to be bullish about this, I do want a step up. I’m not moving sideways.
Chester City in the Vanarama North can jog on, too. As can Vác FC, another Hungarian 2nd tier team. But the next email I receive is intriguing. Wojciech Pertkiewicz, Chairman of Lotto Ekstraklasa (Polish top tier) side Arka Gdynia wants me in for an interview. Now we’re talking. The Lotto Ekstraklasa would be a significant jump up the managerial ladder for me. We make the arrangements and I interview for the role of Arka Gdynia manager.
I do hope for an even bigger opportunity to present itself, but I’m swiftly disappointed. Freamunde, another LigaPro side and Scottish 3rd tier side Arbroath both get in touch, but neither fit the bill. Get me an interview in Glasgow, Scotland. Then we’ll talk.
I do reluctantly attend an interview with Vlastimil Gabriel, Chairman of Czech 2nd tier side Varnsdorf. To be honest though, I attend mostly out of boredom.
Gonçalo Valadão officially retires from football. He’s done well with Angrense and I imagine he’ll have a job for life there, unless he becomes a good coach, in which case I might pinch him.
After deleting an email from Vanarama South side East Thurrock United, offering me another pissing interview in England, I stumble across another from Vlastimil Gabriel. He wants me to take the Varnsdorf job. I stare at the email for a few minutes, before sending a reply in which I courteously decline. I feel like I lead him on a bit by interviewing, but especially as Gdynia is still a possibility, I want to set my sights higher than the Czech 2nd tier.
I reject interviews from Spanish 3rd tier side Tudelano and Slovenian 2nd tier side NK Komenda over the next few days, but I’m starting to sweat. My contract is up in less than 2 weeks. I do have the brainwave of getting Borba to pay the £600 for my National C license studies though, so that should set me up nicely if the worst should happen and I find myself unemployed in a few months.
I do have to laugh when Torreense throw me a cheeky interview offer. They finished 4th in their PT Championship Relegation stage group this year but you’ve got to admire their ambition.
I also decline interviews from Serbian 2nd tier side FK Temnic 1924 Varbarin and Slovakian 2nd tier side Slavoj Trebisov, before attending one with Turkish 2nd tier side Adana Demierspor and their President Melik Toprak. If I’m going to move to a 2nd division side, being 1 promotion away from the Süper Lig wouldn’t be a bad shout.
In another pretty funny turn of events, after I turned down Farense’s offer for an interview at the start of the Summer, they hired the manager of PT Championship Runners up Cinfães, Arlindo Gomes. So naturally, Cinfães send me an invitation. Naturally, I say no.
With about a week to go before my contract expires, and having rejected 2 more offers from Serbian 2nd tier side Buducnost Dobanovci and Spanish 4th tier side Palencia, I receive another email that catches my attention.
It’s Wojciech Cygan, Chairman of Another Lotto Ekstraklasa side, GKS (Górniczy Klub Sportowy) Katowice. In 6 weeks time, they start the new season as heavy favourites to be relegated, having only just been promoted and having a weaker squad than the majority of the division, but I think I’m just about ready for another relegation scrap. I accept Wojciech’s offer for an interview and fly back to Poland for another crack at a top tier job.
29th June 2016: 2 days before Angrense contract expires
From: Wojciech Cygan, Chairman of GKS Katowice
Subject: Save Us, Franjo
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