O Comezo…

Deportivo La Coruna, a fallen giant, the nostalgic pick of 90/00’s football, his Avo’s team, his team.

James was sitting in his apartment nervously waiting on the screen to change from the waiting room screen. This was a chance at the perfect job, it had taken a large amount of liquid courage to submit his application but ever since he had received the email asking him to attend the online first round of interviews it had been consuming his every second. As he quickly scanned his notes taped on the wall behind his laptop screen he couldn’t help but anxiously rotate the crown of his watch. The same watch was given to him on his 18th by his avo, “if I get this there would have been no shutting him up” he mused. As that thought finished, he heard the hold music stop and was met by three faces on the screen.

“Ola señor Sedor”.


It had been a whirlwind few days since he had closed his laptop screen with the promise of a face-to-face meeting in A Coruna. He had made it to the second round, which was two rounds further than he had expected. Now he was sitting in Stockholm Arlanda airport, awaiting his gate announcement and as had become his habit when he wasn’t actively doing something, he was watching Deportivo matches. He felt his phone begin to vibrate on the table, as he glanced down he saw The Gaffer displayed on the screen.

“Alright Gaffer, long time no speak. I hope you’re alright, new job treating you well?” James began.
“Gaffer? How long has it been since that was actually true? I’m a good mate, and yourself? Up to much recently” came the response with a tone of omniscience.
“You could say I’ve been busy, I have a bit of a favour to ask…”
“They’ve been in contact already”

There was a pause for what seemed like an eternity before James was aware of laughing coming through the speaker.

“You know when I said, you can use me as a reference? I meant as a tea lady or if you got a job in a Coop. Manager, ah I’m not too sure… ?”
“I’ve been busy, I’ve got up to Continental A”. James offered with more desperation than he’d intended.
“It’ll be a hard club to get right, especially as it’s your club. You’ll feel everything more. Are you sure I can’t bring you into Cobham? I’m sure we’d be able to get you a bigger wage packet, working with the transfer team”.
“I’m sure, this is what I want to do boss”
With an air of calm, the response arrived “I know, which is why I’ve told them you’re the man for the job. I wouldn’t bother with any other candidate, no matter what it says on paper. I’m not just saying that to blow smoke, you know I wish you’d come to Swansea or Brighton…”
“I couldn’t. You know that”
“Yeah, I do Jim. I need to get going, I’m being frantically waved at by my secretary. Good luck when you get the job and remember there’s a permanent offer from me. Wherever I am”.
“Cheers Gaffer, Thank you really. All the best to the family and say Ola to Marc for me, he still owes me for his payday”.

A chuckle between friends and the promise of a catch-up in person, the next time things allowed it, is how the call ended. Just as it ended, James glanced up and saw his gate was now indicated.


As he dozed on the plane journey to Madrid, James reflected on his time working and knowing, the now Chelsea Head Coach Graham Potter. James had been playing for Leeds Carnegie in 2008, whilst studying there when ex-professional footballer Graham Potter took over. James was in his final year in his business course and was captaining the side having played his previous two seasons as a starting centre half. “Like a mixture of Maldini and Frank Sauzee” was how James had described his playing style to his new boss, tongue firmly in cheek, before his first match. That first match was his last for the club due to a severe knee injury when the opposition’s keeper landed on James’ leg whilst claiming a corner. The “Terrible Triad ” is what the surgeon had called it, James had torn both his Anterior and Medial cruciate ligaments, whilst also damaging his meniscus.

Potter had kept James around the squad even though he wouldn’t ever be fit to play regularly again, having identified James’ importance to the squad. James had cut his teeth in both coaching and analysis, working informally in both roles. After graduation James had worked in various dead-end jobs and was walking out of his office one day to a voicemail from his mum saying “A lovely Mr Potter had been on the phone from Sweden and wanted to know if you would give him a callback?”. A short phone call and that was it, James worked out his notice and headed off to Sweden.

Sweden was where James felt he “grew up”, having been unsure of what he wanted to do. He developed a career and found his love. He primarily worked as a scout and analyst initially. He was quickly established as a go for the club and as Potter’s star grew with promotions and latterly European adventures, in certain circles so did Sedors. In those early years, he had supplemented his income from football doing online accountant work but as he gained more experience in football he was involved in some consultant roles for football transfers. This was primarily used by Ostersunds as a negotiator but had been something Sedor had continued independently since leaving Ostersunds in the spring of 2018, just weeks before Potter left for Swansea.

Damas y caballeros, su capitán ha encendido la señal de abróchense los cinturones. Abróchense los cinturones de seguridad para aterrizar”. Came the announcement over the intercom.


James deplaned, found his luggage and headed into the city to catch his train up to A Coruna. He found himself quite delighted to be back in Spain, having been born to Spanish parents he had grown up in their adopted country of Scotland. This had given him a rather distinctive accent as he had been taught Spanish by his parents and grandparents who had all moved up to Scotland. He found himself to have a strong dual national sense of pride in all things but also in football. He was regularly alone in his keenness to discuss La Liga football in both primary and high school. His friends looked on bizarrely as he and avo attend school in full Deportivo kits on their La Liga title success in 1999-00.

He had travelled to Spain on many occasions as a child, teenager and young man. However, had found himself less prone to leaving his own adopted homeland of Sweden over the last few years. His main reason for being in Sweden being his wife, Charlotte.

They had met technically at an Ostersunds night out. The team, having finished their season had done their usual meal and continued into some hot spots. Usually not one for heading to nightclubs, for once James had been convinced. Which is where he first saw her. Normally reclusive James had noticed Charlotte and her elegance immediately, in fact, once he had noticed he could not notice.

Unfortunately, so did most of the group which led to the usual display of competitive men. Each interested lad was swiftly given a short, polite but clear response. Which of course increased the levels of misplaced machismo within the group. Having sat as a wallflower and watched the players arrive back trying each to brush off their swift rejections, he found himself talking up his own chances to his group. Generally well-liked and respected in the group he found his chances being widely talked up. Although somewhat backhandedly, the general consensus was if she didn’t like footballers maybe she’d take better to “a geek”.

With their endorsements ringing in his ears he did intact approach Charlotte. He was aware he felt nervous knowing he had at least 12 sets of eyes on him, but he felt that he had to at least talk to her or he’d never stop regretting it. As he approached her table and asked if he could sit there with her and her friends she replied.

“If only you’d come over first you could have saved those poor men’s pride”.


James sat in his hotel room, the sun setting as he gazed out of his hotel balcony. His room service meal was half eaten and going cold, his laptop was back on charge, and his own energy was spent from the nervous repetition of his interview presentation for tomorrow. He slipped from his glass, “nothing like a Laphroaig to settle the nerves… it’s a shame this is Bell’s” he continued his lament on duty-free scotch whisky options at Madrid airport internally. He sank back into the outdoor chair as he sank the contents of his glass. “Tomorrow’s the day, you’ll find out one way or another. Any advice avo?” He glanced at the sky, thinking of his avo, Alberto, who had introduced him to football and Depor before he could walk.

His mind wandered as he took another single ice cube and refilled his glass. He didn’t like when it wandered, he didn’t tend to enjoy its destination. He looked over at the clock at 21:28, he should get to bed before 22:30, although he knew he wouldn’t sleep. He sipped another taste of his beverage, fighting his nerves and feeling his mind wandering, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Karolinska University Hospital, is a state-of-the-art, modern, European hospital. A wonderful beacon of learning, research and compassion. James absolutely despised it. He always hated hospitals, ever since he was a child. Nothing good came out of hospitals except babies, he was always convinced of that. He could feel himself lost in his own thoughts, alert, anxious, agitated. He felt her hand on his knee.

“It’s okay, it’s just a hospital”. Were his nerves that obvious?

“I know, I just don’t like them”, James replied, aware of his knee jiggling now. A family habit when nervous.

“I remember, you tell me every time we’re in one”, she responded and smiled her comforting smile, his smile. He felt slightly better. The door opened and out came the doctor.

“Mr and Mrs Sedor? Please come in, and take a seat”. He beckoned his arm towards two chairs in front of his desk. James felt his hand being squeezed, as he felt his hand lead him into the room. Suddenly he longed for the comfort of the waiting room chair, the chair of angst, the chair of expectation, the chair of apprehension, that was the chair of before, this was the chair of after.

Just like that, he was back in his balcony chair, his palms and forehead glistening. That was as far as he would wander in that part of his memory, he wasn’t allowed to wander further. He finished his glass and looked across at the bottle, half gone already. “Nothing lasts these days,” he thought to himself, he reached for another ice cube and found his supply had turned to liquid. “Probably for the best, I best get to bed. Big day tomorrow”. He glanced over to the desk as he shut himself in, laptop, handouts and his chosen suit, all in clear sight and where he’d left them before retiring to his balcony. He got into bed, checked his alarm and ensured his phone was charging. He knew he wouldn’t sleep much but he best make the best attempt, “one way or another, he’d know in a couple of days at most, if he’d got it. The one job that would move him, the one job to motivate him, the only job, his job”.


His thoughts that night proved correct, not only did he know within a couple of days. So did the rest of the world.

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