And so it begins....
Every time for the past five or six years that Motherwell had been on the look out for a new manager he did always fantasize about applying and how he would take on the challenge. Well to be honest it had been a dream for far longer than five or six years but it was only in the last few that he had deeply put thought into what his approach would be. Now that it had at least a shred of realism to it. That is what he told himself anyway as he planned all his moves in his head.
Steve James began his football life pretty late on. Too late at least to push to become a professional but at 19 his journey took off simply by volunteering as a coach for a local football academy for youngsters in Dumfries. It was from there he was sponsored through his first batch of coaching badges from Early Touches in Child Pathway all through the Youth levels. He found that he had more drive and interest in this than he did to become a player and offered Queen of the South his services for free to gain some actual experience.
It was while being involved in the coaching courses that Steve met and became friendly with Andre Villas Boas. They got on well and then followed Andre to Academia where he shadowed and worked under AVB while their friendship took off. From there Steve was part of the team AVB took to Porto, Chelsea and then to Tottenham. Boas thought a lot of Steve and his opinions and at Tottenham became his assistant manager.
In early as ever, with his coffee and paper spread out in front of him he waited for AVB to arrive. They had a Monday morning meeting each week with just the two of them before the players came in for training. Steve James was sat with his head down, lost in the story on the back page of The Sun. 'McCall Gets Blackburn Job' stared up at him from the newsprint. Motherwell were again looking for a new manager. AVB had the same paper under his arm as he walked in and almost spilt his coffee as he let the paper fall to the table.
"Well I'm not surprised you beat me to it this morning Steve"
Boas was well aware of Steve's love for Motherwell. He had held a season ticket there with his dad for 10 years before coaching started to clash. He had been involved in the past after he was at Queens and opinions were sought on potential signings etc.
"This is already cup number two. I have already had a couple of calls from reporters this morning asking for some info, saying they have heard I am being lined up for an interview"
"That's the second thing I have been beaten to this morning!" Said Boas.
He threw the Daily Record across the table where Steve was mentioned alongside a few others such as Paul Hartley, Jimmy Calderwood and even Billy Davies as other potentials for the job.
"As if Andre."
"It's your job, you know that. It is only a matter of time. We both know you are capable, maybe this is that time." He said with a big smile, he was enjoying this.
I must have checked my phone a dozen times each hour in hope rather than expectation that day. On the way home AVB patted my back.
"See you on the back pages in the morning." He called as he headed for his car.
BBZZZZ BBBZZZZ "Steve, it's Leeann Dempster. How you doing? I hope I haven't interrupted you. I want you to apply for the vacant managers job......."
"Shit!" I said to myself as I hung up.
It was all dealt with. Interview tomorrow afternoon, flights were going to be booked for me and potential compensation had even been arranged with Spurs should things progress successfully. No wonder AVB winked at me like that as he left. I didn't let myself get too carried away. Not beyond the loud "Ya Dancer!" that filled the car park at least.