The Three Amigos
The journey had been a nightmare but at the same time I was excited by the prospect of what lay ahead. Accompanying me on the three-month trip was a colleague, Robbie, who had never been out of Europe. I couldn’t make up my mind who was the luckier – me, knowing what to expect of Africa and its people, or Robbie, who had no idea but was eager to find out. Tough to call.
It could have gone one of two ways for someone in Robbie’s position – he would either love it or hate it. It’s a completely different world to the one from which we come. The temperature, the food, the culture, the poverty and the lack of creature comforts we take for granted every day at home but only appreciate after having spent time without them. You could very easily get homesick being away for that long. But not Robbie. I had no qualms about him – even though he’d never left Europe before, he was so enthusiastic about everything…to the extent that the free food and drink on the plane was a fantastic surprise! It was inevitable he would take what was to come in his stride and have an experience he would never forget.
We were supposed to meet another colleague from Arsenal, Jesper, at Doha Airport in Qatar. Jesper was flying in from Scandinavia and suffice to say, his flight arrived on time whereas ours didn’t. He made the connection to Entebbe, Uganda. We didn’t. The details are not for here, they will be reserved for a extremely stern letter of complaint to the airline in question.
Jesper is the epitome of the Nordic stereotype. Extremely blonde and extremely organised. The latter, combined with Robbie’s enthusiasm, will be of great benefit to our coaching sessions. Hopefully I’ll also bring something to the table – I guess it’s for others to say what. Perhaps they would say one or all of the following: people management skills, team working, communication, computer programming…sorry, that was my previous job. Actually, it’s amazing that so many of the skills overlap – an odd Venn diagram of the corporate world on one side and football coaching on the other. One thing that doesn’t overlap is the enjoyment I get out of what I do now. It’s a win win situation – hopefully, and most importantly, the children and young people I work with have a lot of fun, but from a selfish point of view, I love it!
I’ve digressed a little but I’m really optimistic the three of us will work well together and that the sum of the whole will be greater than its constituent parts. We’re coaching a team game after all.
Posted on April 30, 2012, in 02. The Three Amigos and tagged Arsenal coaches in Africa, Arsenal coaches in Uganda, Arsenal in Africa, Arsenal in the Community, Arsenal in Uganda, football coaching in Africa, football coaching in Uganda, job satisfaction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.