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Rachel Williams: Breaking Down Barriers

Started on 23 October 2017 by ScottT
Latest Reply on 19 January 2018 by Plumps
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
2 yearsEdited

Chapter One

Looking back, I have come so far... I still get flashbacks from that cold night in December, Christmas Day as it happens. Looking down at the water beneath me, staring down at my reflection, thinking the worst. I was in a dark place with no hope and I was close to the end. Failure after failure, let down after let down... I'd had enough. Christmas Day 2016 was going to the end of the pain and trauma caused by the people that were supposed to care for me. Except... it wasn't.

Tears streamed down my face as I awaited my body to release the tension and end it all. The abuse I had received from home and my supposed friends was all about to stop and I would soon be free. The only person who cared about me had gone, killed by a sudden heart attack right in front of my eyes. I was there, trying to save my own grandfather from dying, pounding his heart in an attempt to resuscitate him as the paramedics raced to get to my address.

When they arrived, they had taken over from me. I knew that he was strong, I thought he would recover but as I stood by his hospital bed overnight, all through the next morning and afternoon, I knew that the only thing keeping him going was the life support that he was on. My suspicions were confirmed by the nurse and at 00:38am, he was gone. My whole life had crumbled, my only ounce of support was gone and I was thrust into the world without anyone at just 19.

My family life was a mess. My mother was an alcoholic and would constantly fight with my father, it prompted me to move away from them as soon as I was able to. Beside the two of them, everyone was either dead or had moved away, can't say I blame the latter - I would too if I could. My own abode wasn't the most attractive, but I was able to say I have a roof over my head and can support myself due to the job I have.

Beside that, I had just come out of a relationship that seemed all flash, but in reality was nothing more than lies. I was constantly told that I was 'the one' and that 'nothing would ever come between us' yet when I opened the bedroom door one day and saw two bodies laying in a bed, completely naked, well work it out for yourself. We had been dating since we were fifthteen, turns out that my darling partner had been seeing someone on the side for three years. You could just imagine how shattered I felt.

Feeling fragile, weak, alone... I had no option. I had nobody to turn to anymore and so it led me to considering to take my own life. I would have been better off away from this car-crash of a life. I shivered as the cold battered against me, finally about to take the trip of a lifetime, I was pulled away from the edge. I turned around to see a man behind me who grabbed me and walked me over to a nearby bench.

I struggled to get any words out as he asked me just why I was going to do what I did. He recognised the fact I was shaken and walked me down the promenade towards his car in which I was told to get inside of. Right now, I didn't care what the consequences could have been and I didn't care where I was going. It was like a game of twenty one questions when he got inside the vehicle and eventually he squeezed every bit of information out of me. Truth be told, I needed that, I needed someone to listen.

I felt a sense of trust in somebody again. It was strange how I had gone from feeling like I had nobody to feeling like I mattered to someone in a matter of moments. But looking back on that night, I had a mixture of thoughts... what could have been if he wasn't there for me? As right now, I hate what that night would have taken away from me...
A very tense nervy start mate, looking forward to the next chapter
I wonder if a prosperous career in football management can make this guy feel any better ;) Great to see you back in the stories section again this year Scott mate.
Very tasty start! Looking forward to this one
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
2 yearsEdited

Chapter Two

So, let me introduce myself. My name is Rachel, Rachel Williams. You weren't expecting that, right? A woman. You know my backstory, now let me tell you about how things are currently working out because the past few months have been hectic and it's only fair you learn about them.

After that night I ended up staying with the man who saved my life. I was rather frightened at first at the prospect at carrying on in life just like that, but overtime my faith in humanity was restored thanks to him. Who is he you ask? Well that's Luke, my now boyfriend. I know, crazy right? It's a long story if I'm honest, so you may want to get some food and settle down to hear the story.

He refused to let me leave his home that night. He told me to get some sleep, I tried hard, but when your head is full of dark thoughts like mine were, it's hard to do that. The next day came and we had a real heart-to-heart talk. He was still a stranger to me really and I was surprised I was being so open to him, I hadn't been as open to anyone since my grandfather passed. I ended up staying another night.

The theme continued. A week turned into a month and a month into three. I had grown fond of him, it hadn't taken long for us to know that we both wanted the same thing. He was considerate with me, he knew the struggles I faced and would always put me first, it was a change from my previous relationship. I didn't think I would find another one, I thought that my dating days were over because I forgot how to trust but he had a way of making all that change.

He tackled all the other issues like work for me. I left my job as he felt like I didn't need the extra stress and he tackled the bills for me. My previous home was sold off just recently, it's been six months since Christmas now, I write this on the 23rd June and now I am in a more stable position in just about everything, financially, mentally... emotionally. It's perfect.

The thing is... there's more to come in the story of how my life is panning out yet which I can't wait to share. It's confusing how life likes to throw a lot of shit at you all at once, isn't it. Then again it finds a way of making it up to you in the end I've found out. Like I said last time, it would have taken away far too many opportunities. Trust me, you won't want to miss what is about to come.


Griffin: Cheers mate!

Jack: Maybe so ;) Cheers mate, ready for another good year. Liking the look of the stories at the moment.

Josh: Cheers mate, glad you are.

Interesting twist. Guess this is where the whole 'breaking down barriers' theme comes in
Well this is going to be interesting! Hopefully you can prove any doubters wrong!

Chapter Three

Some people like to say they were born to love the game of football. I wasn't one of them, instead I was rather forced into loving the game. My grandfather wanted me to start enjoying his passion and so took me to watch the local team, Gateshead. I was just eight years old and so didn't really understand the concept, I was just waiting for the ball to nestle in the back of the net to scream 'Goal!' at the top of my lungs. The game was thoroughly entertaining, a 4-3 victory which tempted me back through the gates the next home fixture and that's how my addiction started.

Me and him travelled the country every week to watch our favourite club play. We'd hop into the supporters coach for everyone to recognise us and it was great to see the same faces join us as we did. The thing I loved about the club was the real community feel between fans and players. We were a small semi-professional club plying our trade in the depths of Non-League but nothing felt better than watching that team play for the badge on their shirt.

That's something I feel like is slowly dying out in football these days. Passion and loyalty is slowly disappearing before our very eyes. Gone are the days of players starting their careers with one club for them to stay there until the day they retire, we shouldn't need to look at players like Totti like heroes just for staying loyal to a club.

Don't get me started on passion, especially in the top flight of English football. It's far too obvious that the majority of players are there for the money and nothing else. They don't care about the badge on the jersey they're wearing, as long as they get that £100,000 they don't care, something much different in Non-League, I guess that's why the attendances are slowly growing as the years go by.

After my grandfather died, I couldn't afford to follow my club as much as I'd have liked. I got to the occasional game and saw those recognisable faces once again, they passed their condolances onto me about my grandfather and offered me help but I couldn't take their pity so I politely refused and thanked them. Going back there after he died didn't feel right, the memories would come flooding back each time I step foot into the ground and trying to hold back tears was sometimes quite difficult.

Luke isn't from the area, he moved up here from Leeds so I had to introduce him to the club. I hated taking his money but he would always force me to do so, so I could re-live the memories me and my grandfather made in the stands each week. Getting to go back there every game was a great feeling because I would miss the atmosphere and the travelling up and down the country which we did together, he was like the companion my grandfather used to be.

He knew the passion I had for the club but also for the game as a whole. 'Rach, why don't you try management? You know you have the passion and drive to do it, so why not give it a try?' Luke told me as we watched the ball go flying out for a goal kick. I looked at him and laughed, 'Do you really think I could do that? No. Of course I couldn't.' He didn't mention it again, he knew that deep down it would have got inside my head and it did.

I was really considering it, but realistically, what chance did I have in a sport that is dominated by men? That was a chance I was going to have to take. I got researching and I found my route into coaching, I had found my feet once again and this is how I was going to do it, what could go wrong?


Josh: You're absolutely correct my friend! :P

Griffin: We'll soon find out. ;)
Beep Beep
Managers beware Rachel Williams is coming for your job!!
Great start Mr. Scott
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
2 yearsEdited

Chapter Four

I hated traffic. I hated driving on motorways, people seem to forget how to drive on them, it's no surprise there's so many accidents. I had plenty of time to get to my coaching exam and begin the long process of attempting to get into football management and, as Luke says, write myself into the history books. I wasn't overly confident but after a coffee or two, I was sure my nerves would dissolve, that's what I was hoping anyway.

Two hours to go and I was just across the road from the building I was meant to be at. I had to sign-up of course and I received a letter through my door which I was told to bring with me as a form of identification, as well as bringing actual proof of who I am. Sitting in the Costa Coffee, staring out the window at the place where all my dreams could come true, it was a scary thought.

Scrolling through all the messages of support from friends on my Facebook feed, trying not to start laughing at some of the comments from some of my oldest friends, ones I had gone back years with is the thing that made me realise fully what was really in store. People knew what this meant to me and I wasn't going to ruin it, else I would truly hate myself for it.

I took a final slip from my coffee and placed the cup back on the table before exiting to the building across the street. As I approached the door I took a deep breath, the cliche one that they always tell you to do when you're nervous, it doesn't really help but it's always worth a try. I then pushed the door open to begin the start of it all.

I was greeting by the receptionist, a small woman with bright blonde hair who beemed at me as I entered. 'Can I help?' She asked. 'I'm here for the coaching exam?' I replied, taking the letter from my bag and placing it onto the desk for her to see. 'That's great, have you got any proof of identity on you, please?' The woman enquired, still smiling. I gave her my driving license and she nodded to say everything was fine.

'Tell you what, I've very rarely seen women come through these doors. I'm assuming you're going to try management in the women's game?' I shook my head and laughed a little, 'Believe it or not... I'm going to try my hand in the men's game.' She looked at me for a second and then quietly applauded me, 'Good on you, Rachel. I wish you luck, I would love to see a woman make it, it's about time it happens.' She told me. 'I'll definitely try!' I laughed as I followed her lead.

I can't really go into detail about what happened during the test because of security reasons but I can tell you that it's a really eye-opening experience listening to some of the things I were told by the man who led the session. Many were surprised to see me participating but I ignored it all and ensured I focused on the tasks, in which I like to think I impressed in, but I should hear back in the next few days to see if I can expect my first coaching badge.

Just being in that position makes me feel proud of where I'm going, if I get that badge then I'll be over the moon, if not I'll take it on the chin and move forward - maybe try again or maybe re-evaluate the situation and look elsewhere. Right now my head is a bit all over the place, I'm quite eager to find out if I've done it but I can't change anything now. I guess we'll find out together...


Justice: You inspired the start to this chapter. ;)

Griffin: Hopefully so!

MJK: Thank you kind sir ;)
As an Austrian I'm really impressed with your style of writing and I'm absolutely loving the storyline as well! Keep up the good work mate :-)
So intrigued to see where this is going next mate, incredibly well written story so far <33
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
2 yearsEdited

Chapter Five

The letter box sounded reminding me of the time, I had a horrible habit of waking up and just laying in bed for an hour or so, why move until you need to? I pushed off the heavy duvet and put on my slippers and made my way down the staircase and skimmed through the letters. Several bill letters and one additional letter that immediately caught my eye. The envelope had my name written in big, bold writing. I tore inside and investigated, sliding the letter out before reading. The letter quoted,

Ms Williams,

We are writing from Blyth Spartans Football Club, I'm not sure if you're aware but we have recently been promoted to the Vanarama North ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 season. Several of our contacts have informed the club that you are looking for an opportunity in management and we are currently looking for an individual to fill the vacant first team manager position.

These sources of ours have been informed of your interesting and fresh ideas and have held you in very high regard which is why we wish to interview you about the job. The club itself are making history and we would love to see you become a part of this history, whilst writing yourself into it also, as you know by becoming the first female manager within the country, potentially.

If you are interested please reply to the address provided on this letter and we can arrange a date for the interview and discuss all queries you may have regarding the club, the job or anything else.

Yours Sincerely,
Tony Platten, Blyth Spartans Football Club Chairman

I had to read through the letter again to make sure I wasn't seeing things. A club had approached me, a person without any experience in the modern game, yet hold me 'in high regard' due to some 'sources.' In the back of my mind I was questioning just who these sources were, how did they know about my ideas? I didn't care, it landed me a huge opportunity.

I began typing my reply promptly, pulling out the laptop Luke had charitably given to me. To cut long story short, it was a resounding yes from myself to Blyth. The huge plus point regarding Blyth was that it was quite a local club, nothing more than about a half an hour drive from the house so I knew the area and local community quite well.

I didn't want to tell anybody about the news yet, I didn't want to disappoint anyone other than myself if I was to fail in capturing the job so I kept it to myself for now. Trying to hide the huge smile on my face for the rest of the day was quite a difficult challenge, I was used to the opposite - hiding a frown behind a fake smile. This certainly was something I didn't expect to come through the letter box.

A few days passed and once again I received a letter from the club giving me all the details needed regarding the interview, which was confirmed for Wednesday 27th June, just three days away. I had everything ready for the big day and began mapping out my ideas with pen and paper, this was the first step of it all...


TheN1886: I really appreciate the kind words mate! Vielen Dank!

Griffin: Thanks pal. <3

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