Full Time Talent Spotter
The CTFD PortoGaia, training facilities from heaven
Walking into the F.C Porto training complex was like walking into football heaven. In comparison with the muddy, torn pitch of the Estádio Mario Duarte, the training pitches t the CTFD PortoGaia were exemplary.
Lots of teams all trained at the one centre and it was state of the art at the very least. The exterior of the main building was pristine and the pitches around it were of the highest quality, all with either training sessions or practice matches going on.
I walked into the main building and reception area, and I asked to see José Mourinho, who had called two nights ago. Apparently, he wanted me on the coaching staff. The lady showed me to a room overlooking one of the training grounds, knocked, and waited patiently.
"Come in," that same deep voice said, the one that was familiar because I'd heard it on TV so much!
"This is Vitor Martins, he says you wanted to see him," the receptionist clarified.
"Ah, yes, I did. Thank you. Sit down, Vitor," Mourinho said, gesturing to a seat opposite his own at a wooden bench. I now had a view of the training grounds through his window, a low row of mountains in the distance.
"I just wanted to say that, I myself am an up and coming manager - I'm currently taking my badges, and you're a really good example and template for what a good manager should be," I said straight up. I just needed to get it off of my chest.
"Thank you for the kind words. Why don't we go walk around the place, I'll show you everything and everyone - and we can talk while we do it," he suggested.
"That would be perfect."
He showed me out the door and we enjoyed a great discussion on football and football management, all while he showed me round the CTFD PortoGaia like it was his own home. Mourinho was not a very bossy, disciplinarian type figure, but he seemed to command respect and the players looked up to him and listened. Something worth noting down.
"I've seen you before," he said. "Playing and in the dugout. You are quite reserved but you pay good attention to detail. That is the key to me, paying attention. Every minute detail matters, it can change a game."
I nodded. "Yes, I agree. I love to analyse a game and I think that preparation is key."
"It is. If you get it right, tactically, you can beat anyone. What is your philosophy on the game, Vitor?" Mourinho quizzed.
"Well, I prefer fast attacking, probably more counter attacking football. I prefer to adapt to what I have at my possession and I will do whatever it takes to win."
This time Mourinho nodded, he explained how winning was the priority for him and how there will be people who contest the "win at all costs" attitude and don't understand. He then spoke about Bobby Robson, his ultimate idol and tutor, before we arrived back at his office.
"Now, business wise. We agreed you'd be a coach, right? I think you'll be my 'tactical advisor', just take notes at training. Study some film at home of opponents and report back to me. If a vacany fills, you can work as an assistant manager at either the B team or the U19s if you please."
I accepted this offer and couldn't wait to work. I left at around 2:00pm so there was still time left in the day to get up to stuff. I had to organise a place to stay in Porto and manage to transport all my stuff from Aveiro to the north.
I left the CTFD PortoGaia feeling overjoyed at my new job. I was on the coaching staff of F.C Porto - this was like a dream? Was I one step closer to greatness?