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An American Footballer in...Belgium?!?

Robert Yann takes the reigns at Belgian amateur side, Vigor Wuitens Hamme
Started on 3 June 2018 by Rockstar / First Post
Latest Reply on 5 June 2018 by Rockstar / Last Post
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  • VIEWS763
 

The Phone Call


***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***

"Hello, this is Robert"

"Robert, my name is Bart Steukers. I am the president of Vigor Wuitens Hamme, an amateur football team in Belgium. Somehow, my scout made it to America and saw you coach your youth team in a tournament in Virginia Beach. He was very impressed, and seeing as I have just lost my coach, I have an offer for you."

"Wait, what, BELGIUM!!!"

"Yes, Hamme, Belgium, to be exact"

"Where the <***> is Hamme!"

"I would like to fly you out here to talk. Judging by the video he took, it will be worth my time and money."

"Well, at worst it will be a vacation, although I don't see Hamme as a normal destination for a guy like me."

"Alright, get your visa and get back to me when you are ready."

"No, problem."

One Week Later


Got my papers, here I am at the Embassy.



Not too bad, ready to fly

***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***

"Hello, this is Bart."

"Hello, Bart. This is Robert. The Visa is all wrapped up and I am ready to go"

"Perfect, I will e-mail you the tickets. When you get to the airport in Brussels, I will be there to pick you up. We will start with a quick tour of Hamme, then get you to the stadium where we can talk further."

"That sounds great! See you in a couple weeks."

Here We Go




Dulles to Brussels


Some in flight entertainment




Welcome to Hamme


"As you can see, Hamme is a quiet old city. Here is the Town Hall.

Just up here is Sint Anna.

And here we are at the stadium.

We have a friendly tomorrow, I will talk details with you then. Let's just head to your hotel."


"Thank you, Bert. I look forward to talking to you."

The Next Day




"So, you can see we are very much an amateur side. We almost made it professianal a couple seasons ago, but we were not able to secure a professional license, even though we won the league. We believe that we can secure the license now and we need you to take us back to that level. Once we are professional, we will need you to build the team so we can become a permanent fixture in the professional leagues."

"Actually, that is not unreasonable. You really think you can secure the license now?"

"Yes!"

"Well, you have convinced me. I think this city will be a fantastic destination for me."

"So, Robert. Here is the contract I would like to offer you. I know it's not much, we are amateur right now, but it will secure you a place to stay and your other necessities. Once we turn professional, we will 100% renegotiate terms with you."


"I can do that. "

"You just made my day, Robert. Thank you for joining us here."

"I know someone who will guarantee you receive your work permit. Once you get back, make an appointment and take the papers I will send to you. In a month you should be good to go."

"Thanks, I'll keep in touch. See you then"

Back in America


Here I go again, back at the embassy.

Work permit secured, I am off to Belgium.

***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***


"Thank you for calling The Realty Co., how may I help you."

"I am calling about the apartment for rent in Hamme, this listing number."

"Yes, come by the office and we will give you the address and go over the details."

At the Office


"Wow this location is perfect, and it's one of the cheapest spots i have seen yet. I can walk to the stadium and save me money on travel. I will take it."

Now I can dig in and really see what I'm working with.

The Story Begins




Let's see what I'm working with








So, we have no budget, minimum wage is 350 euros with 150 left for wages, we have no affiliate to loan from, we only have 17 players so can't even field a full bench, we have less than half the staff we need, and can't afford to hire more. This is going to be a challenge. Well I guess it's time to meet the board.

Bart
"Welcome back Robert. The board is excited about you joining us, and we would not have put our faith into you if we did not feel you were the man to propel the club forward."

"Thank you Bart, it's exciting getting started here"

Well we are an amateur club and haven't develloped any philosophies here, and don't feel like it will be needed considering amateur player turnover. Do you agree with this approach."

"Absolutely, Bart. I enjoy the freedom this grants me."

"Are you going to attend the press conference announcing your arrival?"

"Yes, I will Bart."

"Alright. Bruno, your assistant coach will talk to you now."

Bruno
"Thank you for the intro, Bart. So, Robert, do you want my report on the team?"


"Yes, thank you. I will need another set of eyes on the squad."

"Do you want to set up a staff meeting to discuss the state of the squad with everyone?"

"Yes, we will see what we have to work with here."

"Anything else I can help you with?"

"I'll find you if I need anything. Thank you for everything."

Bart
"Well if there is nothing else, the meeting is over."

"Actually Bart there is one thing I would like to start with here. With our limited funds, it would be nice to set up an affiliate team to help fill holes in the squad and to build some financial strenght for the next few seasons. Plus, since our youth program and training facilities have not been developed yet, it would be to our benefit to utilise this aspect of another club."

"We are lacking in the recruitment department. I believe you are correct, we could definitely benefit from this. Thank you. Come see us if there is anything else you need."


It looks like we may field a full team afterall. I can't wait to find out who our affiliate will be. Let me meet my scouting team now.

"Hello, Boss. I am Luc, your chief scout. Now our scouting budget is almost zero, however I was able to check out this young winger from Guinea.His name is Mohamed Camara. He is quite fast, and i believe he will be able to get the job done, even after promotion. Better yet, he is available on a non contract so we will be able to afford him."

"I like it. I will give him a call now. Hopefully a lower league Ginean side doen't hold much weight compared to an amateur Belgian side. Thanks for the heads up and keep working hard out there. I am also going to contact Alin Stoica. He is available on a free and may sign a non-contract. His is a central midfielder, and we only have one on the team."

"Good call Boss. Talk to you soon."

Meet the Press

Adrien Van Hecke
The Hamme Soccer Daily

The only journalist here. Gotta love the small town.

"Robert, do you and the chairman share the same ambition?"

"Yes, Adrien. We have very creative discussions, and good ideas are always floated about."

"You don't speak Dutch, could this cause problems coaching your team?"

"Soccer is a universal language and we will get a long just fine."

"Why did you take this job?"

"I was invited here by the chairman, and it is clear they have ambition, not to mention Hamme is a stunning place."

"We were led to believe you love attacking football. How will this affect your coaching of VW Hamme."

"I am going to make sure we have a well rounded team."

"Some coaches take a much more hands on approach. How do you feel you will run this team."

"I am very hands on and the players should feel they can come to me about anything."

"Some coaches focus on one particular competition. Is the First Division where you will be focusing most of your efforts?"

"Yes. The team is still young and still an amateur side. We need to make it to the professional level so we have the strength to focus on other competitions."

Back to Business


***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***

"Hello, this is Moussa."

"Hello, Moussa. This is Robert with VW Hamme in Belgium. I am interested in bring your client Mohamed Camara to Belgium on an amateur contract."

"He will be pleased to make a name in Europe. We have been waiting for this call. Well, if you meet these demands, I will pass along the offer to him."

"Yes, I can agree to those terms. Tell your client he is welcome in Belgium."

"Thank you, Robert. We will be in touch soon."


***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***

"Hello?"

"Hello, Alin? This is Robert, from VW Hamme. I want to bring you to Belgium. I know your part Belgian, and my reports tell me you want to retire on a professional Belgian team. Well to get you on your way, I can offer you an Amateur contract. We won the amateur division a couple seasons ago, and we are going to aim for professional league now that we can secure the license. Would you like to help us reach our goals?"

"That sounds great. You shoot right to the heart, don't you? I will join you guys. I want this for my contract."

"That sounds perfect. Keep in touch. Thank you."


Strengthening the squad. Nice couple signings.

New signing press conference

Once again, only Adrien shows up.

Adrien
"You sit next to Alin Stoica. Are you pleased to get him on the squad."

"Yes, I am. There won't be any immediate fireworks, but we needed some depth on the bench."

"Could there be any unrest with the new signing?"

"No, Alin will fit right in and be a boost to the squad."

"Do you think Alin will produce in the big games?"

"Alin is very experienced and a big game to some of the younger players will be an everyday game to him."

"Where do you see Alin playing, and at the age of 37, do you think he can still perform?"

"Alin will be used in the center of the pitch, it's an area we need players. He will be a backup filling in when injury or such affects the team. He is still quite capable at 37 and will help the team a great deal, especially during congested periods of the schedule."

Preseason starts, the players are back from vacation. Time to introduce myself.


"I want to introduce myself as the new head coach of VW Hamme."
Oliver Speltdooren
"On behalf of the team, welcome."

"Thank you Oliver. We have a long season ahead of us, but I will be shooting for a mid-table finish. I think you guys are more than capable of reaching this expectation."
Oliver
"We share the same ambition, glad to have you on the same page"

"That is what i wanted to hear. Look forward to this season with you."

The Transfer Window

Luc
"Hey Boss. I have a loan list for you. There may be a couple you can pick up which will cost us nothing."

"Thank you Luc."

***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***
Hello this is Claude"

"Hello Claude, Robert from VW Hamme. I want to bring Mngadi here on loan."

Mngadi needs first team football. If you promise to give him that, Eupen is willing to loan him to you while covering his entire salary.

"Thank you. I need him so if it works out, this will be a great benefit to both of us."

We will let you know.

***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***

Hello, this is Dennis.

"Hello Dennis, this is Robert from VW Hamme. I am looking to bring Mingiedi in on loan."

Well, Robert. Mingiedi can leave on loan and Mechelen will pay for his wages. He needs first team soccer.

"That would be great. Let me know."

Will do, thanks for the call.

***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***
"Hello Bart."

Robert, I have sent you a list of affiliate clubs. Feel free to recomend one and we will take your input into consideration when making our decision.

"I like Merelbeke, however now that we have an affiliate, I feel that a senior club affiliate will help us financially. It may be minor, however any income we can generate will be a boost to the program."

I like the idea Robert, we will look into it.

"Thank you, Bart"

One more press conference.

Again only Adrien shows up.
People may be surprised you were able to bring this caliber of player here.

"They maybe surprised but this just shows the strides we are taking."

Anything else going on for you in the market?

"We will deffinitely be looking to bring in a couple more players. Squad depth is dangerously shallow. We need some coverage."

***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***
"Hello, Claude."

Hello, Robert. Eupen is sending Mngadi to you on loan. We look forward to following his development under you.

"Thank you, Claude. This is going to be great for the both of us."


***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***
"Hello, Dennis. Give me some good news."

Mingiedi is joining Hamme on loan.

"Thank goodness. I know you had competition. I will take care of him for you"


***ring ring*** *** ring ring ***
"Hey, Bart."

Robert, Mechelen, Oostende, and Eupen have all made offers to be linked to Hamme. What are your thoughts on the matter.

"Well, Oostende have been fantastic the last few seasons, however Mechelen have been a top half Belgian team for a decade or so. Mechelen also have better facilities. That would definitely be my pick."

Thanks for your input. I'll run it by the board and we will make our decision.


So this is what we start with.





"Great preseason team. We faced teams in much higher levels than we are. We only suffered two defeats, and teams that should of beat us didn't. We beat the teams we should have and had some great performances. The season starts with a Cup game against La Louviere. It's time to start buckling down and get on to a successful season."

"Alin, it's going to be tough not having you for the start of the season, but your progress has been fantastic and your place is secure when you return to training."

Let me just recover and we will see how true your words are.

That week in training.

"Karim! Are you alright?"

It's my hamstring, sir. It feels like it might be serious.

"Let's get you to the physio."

"So, Bob. How does it look"

Well, it looks like he's going to be out for a couple months. The muscle is severely strained.

"Just get better Karim. The team is going to miss you."

I will crack on with my recovery. I will work to be back as soon as I can for you.


Belgian Cup, Round 4


"Ok, guys. It's our first competitive game tonight. Let's go out there and relentlessy attack this team. They are a lower level team and we should have no problems tonight."



"Get Creative!"
"Give me MORE!"
"D'Haseleer, De Wilde is injured. Suit up."
"Good job drawing the card!"
"Mngadi, ease of the tackles, don't pick up a second card."
"More direct passing, push the ball into the box!"

"That was a disgrace, not a single shot that half. I expect better in the second."
"HOW DO YOU MISS A PENALTY!"
"And now you give them a penalty."
"That game was terrible, you let a lower league team push you around. We must do better."


God I am glad that is over. Rought start.

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