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The Red Journey

A story where take a club from one of Europe's lower leagues to make them a worldwide force to be reckoned with!
Started on 8 April 2014 by TVDLC123
Latest Reply on 11 July 2014 by Justice
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Chapter 5- Opportunity


As I woke up, my head was throbbing with pain and I reached over to get a glass of water. This house wasn’t much, but it was a place to stay. A two bedroom flat in the industrial centre of Serbia, located on a busy main road which was a 10 minute drive away from the airport; no wonder the noise pollution was terrible. Whilst getting up, I could hear a plethora of car horns from the open window to the left of my bedside table. After a quick wash, I checked out my phone for any important messages or calls I received during the night, but there was nothing of much significance. I decided to go out to get some necessary supplies for my time here, just the essentials I would need until an opportunity arose.

I opened the door to see the cab driver I called, perched in my front yard, leaning on his yellow car with a smile plastered on his small face. I greeted him and got inside the car, while specifying my desired location. During the journey, I checked out the facilities Belgrade had to offer; from its extensive football training facilities for youngsters to its stunning, historic monuments which were just a footstep away, this city was a sight to behold.

Near the end of the journey, I received a call from a man I thought I would never meet again. My phone lit up with the name, Dragan Džajić. Dragan was not only the most successful and the best Serbian footballer ever, he was also the president for the club I used to work for, Red Star Belgrade. Dragan was a good friend of mine, however we hadn’t taken for at least a year, so to receive a call from him, especially at this moment when I was in Belgrade, was most unusual. I answered the call, intrigued by the reason for it.

‘Hey, Robert?’ Dragan asked.

'Hey Dragan, it’s been a while.’ I replied. A bright smile lit up on my face as I heard the voice of an old acquaintance.

‘It has, I’m sorry I didn’t contact you, your resignation left me and the rest of the board in shock.’

‘No worries, it was a long time ago, and I wasn’t ready then.’

‘Ah yes, you see, that is partially the reason why I am calling.’ Dragan said, with some hesitance.

‘Oh?’ I asked, surprised with that statement. Was there a loose end he wanted me to tie up?

‘Late last night, Slaviša Stojanovič, you know Slaviša right? We just appointed him as our new manager. He was taken ill, with potential cancer being the cause. The club is with him all the way, assisting him emotionally and financially, but we still need someone to lead the team in his absence. When I heard you were in Belgrade and that you had stooped your contract with your previous club, I knew that it was meant to be. I need someone I know and trust right now, and Robert, you are that person. Will you take back your old job, and become the manager of Red Star Belgrade?’

I almost dropped my phone in shock over what he had just told me. He wanted me to return and manage the biggest club in the country! My brain could not process what was happening, but I didn’t care. For once in my life, I didn’t care about my brain, and I let my heart do the talking.

‘Yes, Dragan, I would love to.’
Another good update, good luck with Red Star :D
Great Updates Tanay, you should call that nurse whose number you got, get her to be the physio ;) Good luck in Belgrade!
@Pompey - Thanks, and you were right :P
@Nathaniel - Ofc, already done, thanks :P
Nice few updates, but don't try and call me syrup again and tell us who you are :P
Crvena Zvezda!
Good luck, great updates!
@Walter - Thanks, and a quick google will tell you who it is, but cause I know you are too lazy, I'll tell you in a few updates time :P
@Louis - Да, најбољи тим у Београду :) (I totally didn't use Google Translate...)
@tallery - Thanks, it means a lot :)

Introductions


Just before I was set to be introduced to the media, I met with Dragan again at the training ground to discuss the details of the project I was signing onto. As I walked through the cold walkway, memories came flooding back into me about my time here. On the way to his office, which it’s location I still remembered, I saw a few familiar faces including some of the backroom staff. While I trudged up the thick, rickety stairs, I started contemplating in my mind whether I had made the right decision. What if I messed up and put the club that I had enjoyed so much success with as a player in a terrible position? What if I led the biggest club in the country to their worst ever season? What if I still wasn’t ready?

I put these questions to one side, knowing that I could do nothing more than my best, and if that wasn’t enough, then I couldn’t do anything else about it. With that though in mind, I knocked on Dragan’s door with the old wooden knocker. He answered and told me to come in.

‘Welcome home Robert, I’m sure you remember this office well, seeing as it is right next to your old office?’

‘Of course, I walked passed it every day for a year.’ I said with a small grin.

‘Well, I’m sorry to say things aren’t the same for the club as they were then.’

‘What do you mean?’ I asked inquisitively.

‘Financially, I’m afraid to say, we find ourselves in a tough spot.’

‘How bad is it?’

‘Well, it’s not horrible, but you will need to be careful with your funds. We can offer you a transfer budget of about 350K but I’m sure you can offload players if need be to get more. Wages are a bit more of an issue, and we can only offer you 4.9K per week, so in order to sign anyone I think you’ll have to adjust that.’

‘I can’t deny I’m disappointed, but I understand the situation the club is in, and I will do my best with what I have got.’

‘Thanks for understanding Robert.’

‘No problem, I’m just grateful that I got this chance to be honest, I’m not going to be hung up over this issue.’

‘I knew I could rely on you. Now, I’ve organised a press conference for tomorrow, where I’ll introduce you, and they’ll ask you a few questions about yours plans for the club, all I want you to do is a give short answers, nothing that will bring a lot of media attention to the club, because right now, I really can’t deal with it.’

‘Sure thing, I’m not one to prolong things which don’t need to be prolonged.’

‘Ok, thanks for this again, it’s really helping me and the club out a lot.’

‘No problem.’ I said with a smile as I got up. Shaking Dragan’s hand, I knew that this decision was the right one. It was a win win situation for everyone involved, and it gave me another chance at my dream job. This time, I wouldn’t waste it.
Can't wait for the conference, come up with some really clever one line answers! ;)
Really enjoying this mate keep it up :)
@tallery - Haha, I'll try, but my manager isn't one for making too many jokes :P
@Beany - Thanks, glad to know you are liking it :)

Press Conference

As the journalists gathered in the meeting hall next door, I quivered in fear backstage, waiting for my cue to come on stage. I paced down the small aisle, thinking of answers of every potential question they could ask me. I didn’t want to make a bad impression on them and mess up on any of my answers. Short and to the point; that was going to be my philosophy for the conference, short enough so I didn’t bore them to death, but long enough so that they would pester me about it again. All my life, I had never really cared what other people thought of me, but today, their views was the most important thing in my life.

‘Here, he is, Mr Robert Prosinečki!’ I heard the words which I had been told would be my cue, and as I walked up onto that stage, all the preparation that I had done disappeared and my mind drew a blank. Looking at all their expecting faces, all staring at me, I began to sweat profusely. Sitting down on the chair, I looked only at my glass of water, rather than face the glare of their desperate eyes.

Congratulations, Mr Prosinečki for getting the chance to be caretaker manager of this great club. What was going through your mind when you received the offer?’

‘I was a bit shocked, but mostly overjoyed that I would get to manage this great establishment to which I have a great love for. I would like to thank the board and the chairman for giving me this opportunity.’

‘You have already once managed Red Star Belgrade, but you resigned after a year in the job. What is different about the situation then and now?’

‘Now, I feel like I have matured more as a manager, and I am more ready to make the challenges that managing such a big club entail. ‘

‘What will be your philosophy in the transfer market?’

‘I will be looking to secure some young talent for the team, as well as get some much needed experience. I believe the best squad is the most well rounded squad, so that is what will build towards.’

‘Is there any chance you could stay on as permanent head coach of Red Star?’

‘There is no discussion of that at the moment, we will just have to wait and see what happens, but for the time being, I am here as a caretaker.’

At this point, Dragan decided to step in, and he called time on this press conference and thanked the journalists for coming here. I stood and walked out, pleased with what I had said and done, nothing that could be taken against me, and nothing which would stand out on a newspaper. Simple, clean answers.
Nice press conference and update, and ty for revealing the manager ;)
@Walter - Thanks, and no problem :P

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