I waited cautiously for someone to mob me..
Hmm........,there was not even a single guy near the gates to cheer me on etc etc, not that I cared but after seeing the fans I thought they would be more passionate than this. Maybe it had something to do with hot sun beating down..... Or it had something to do with the cop car parked near the gate.....
One of the cops walked over to my car " Are you Mr. Harish?"
I nodded and cleared my throat.Damn, it was just a first day, there was no need to call the cops to ensure my protection.
The cop must have read my thoughts "Don't, worry it's just standard procedure, we are also diehard fans of the club.
Oh great, fans who could finish me off if I don't perform well, what a great assurance, I thought.
The cops would have continued their awkward conversation with me if it wasn't for Erik who called from the gate. I excused myself and walked towards the gate briskly. He smiled at me, "Those two gave you the shivers, eh? Don't worry they are quite easy going in nature..... At least if you are on their good side".
"Next time you better give me list of the fans in the club, might actually save me from dying..... from embarrassment, I said sarcasm dripping from my voice. He laughed. "Come on I will introduce to you to the staff" He walked me to the club where a burly guy was talking in a phone, "Neil!!" the chairman called, the guy turned and his scowl morphed into a smile, he walked over still grinning, "You must be Enrico,I am Neil Cox ass man of Wimbledon, Nice to meet you" He shook my hands and turned to address Erik . One of the advantages of living in Italy is that you eventually learn to read people, and so while he was addressing the chairman I studied him, the way he talked to the chairman at ease as if they were relatives showed that he was very loyal to the club and to his friends but also ruthless to his enemies, Despite the obvious grumpiness in his voice he had a soft character and there was real and genuine friendliness in his eyes. I liked him instantly.
...... Well if you say so" He interrupted my thoughts. The chairman gave me a assuring look" see you later, Enrico " and went off towards the office.
"What was that about?", I asked Neil. He just shrugged " I'll tell you on the way" and led me towards the training ground. I happened to glance towards the apartments near the club office and saw a woman standing at the balcony, my heart skipped a beat looking at her, she was not looking at me but towards the training ground where the players were practicing.......
"Enrico!!!, you coming or what? "Neil's voice bringing me back to Earth, he had left me behind and had almost reached the ground, I jogged towards him and he stopped me" Well the staff are waiting there " he pointed to a building near the training ground where a couple of persons were watching the practice session." Or you can meet the players who of course are here " pointed to the ground." Who do you want to meet first?... I thought for a while and finally said " the players, I need to talk to them in person to form some conclusions" He nodded and led me to the ground.
The players were in midst of a intense training session when Neil interrupted them " all right boys, huddle up the coach is here" and turned to me and handed me a tablet device "here is your personal assistant" I stared at the tablet " You got to be kidding me" He smiled " hey, no jokes there man these are much better investments than papers, pads, pens etc etc, you'll see.... and the squad list is in there..." and walked a towards the building where the other staff were waiting.
I took a deep breath and walked to the front of the group glancing at the list Neil had sent to my Tablet.
Well l am not gonna bore you guys with the talk but well it included quite a lot of quotes and jokes but the players took it well and promised me their best. They continued their session and I walked towards the staff building.