Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shake and Stir

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a post with some substance. Most of my assessment has been completed, so I can spend a little more time thinking about football.

Later in the year I’ll be heading overseas to visit family. This means that my team will not have their coach for 4 matches (and 3 training sessions). Consequently, a cover needed to be found for that period. While I was meeting the U/15 and U/18 coaches of the girls at the same club, I mentioned that I would be away, and depending on fixtures I asked if there was the possibility of looking after the girls at some points There was also a particular parent who put her hand up to help me out, being my first time and all, should I require it. I informed her that I may be needing a cover for when I’m away.

Now, I’ll be frank and admit that I’ve effectively been sitting on my arse with regards to this issue. But I had more pressing matters to deal with (assessment tasks), which I think is a decent recent for not actively finding a replacement up to this point.

Before I delve into the actual situation that’s seriously begun to bother me now that I’ve thought about it, perhaps I need to explain a little about my playing background, and the set-up of the Junior club (JunC) that I am currently affiliated with.

One my earliest posts gives a good account of a particular senior club (SenC) I played at on and off for 3 years. During my off years, my brother was still at the club, so I’ve known the club and its people for some time. Needless to say, it’s a SenC that I’m not particularly happy with. I started there in the junior team they used to have, and my experience with that team wasn’t pleasant.

The JunC that I’ve started coaching at currently uses the same facilities as the SenC. My team trains on one of the nights that the SenC has training. So when the president (Pres) of the SenC spotted me, he came over to have a chat. Fair enough, I thought, he’s just saying hello. Then he came over the next week, suggesting that my U/16s join the SenC to make up the numbers in their lowest team (i.e. team that played in the lowest Division that the club had a team registered in). Naturally I declined. Especially since there’s an U/18 team he can poach from – difference is that Pres doesn’t know who their coach is. Again the next week he came by again. I’ve moved my training sessions all about the place to wherever I can find a spot – making it harder for Pres to figure out where I am.

At training, my team manager (TM) asked if I had sorted out a replacement yet. I admitted that I hadn’t, but that I’d mentioned it to the coaches above and a particular parent. TM said that the other coaches couldn’t (fair enough I said, especially since the fixtures had now changed and we no longer had byes during the period I was away). TM then said that Pres of SenC had put his hand up to help out. I was a bit stunned to be honest, and then said I didn’t want him associated with my team. TM said there was no-one else. I said that I had a parent who I mentioned my situation to, but hadn’t had a chance to seriously talk to them about it. Somehow, somewhere, TM & I finished out conversation with the conclusion that our options were limited. At the end of training, I confirmed everything with the parent I had in mind, and sent TM an email when I got home.


I had a word to Parent this evening after training, and she's more than happy to take the girls while I'm away.


TM’s response:


I spoke with Pres before training finished and said we were happy to accept his offer to take training and game day.




Let’s say that I wasn’t very happy at this point, but was far more concerned with particular piece of assessment.

Assessment’s now more or less over (well, there’s exams...), so I’ve had a little time to think about this. I’m really annoyed that this was essentially organised behind my back.

First - Why on earth did the Pres put his hand up? I can only think that the JunC approached the Pres, or mentioned that I was going away. Regardless, the JunC coaching situation should not have been something that the SenC gets itself involved in, particularly considering how often Pres had approached me and my team to join the SenC!

Secondly – why was I not given the time (or option) to really discuss the cover with the parent I had in mind? I have heard (from the U/15 coach) that Parent has been a handful and annoyance to the club in the past, but I am yet to have an issue with her. She seems to be the kind of person who would shoot me while I was watching her. I do mean that in a positive way – she has absolutely no problem telling me what she thinks to my face.

In contrast to TM, who was meant to organise friendlies for me, but didn’t. Perhaps because she knew her daughter wouldn’t be involved with one, and that the other fell on Mother’s Day? The least she could do is tell me why. Then I would’ve made it my responsibility from day 1. Instead of day 20 – which made it harder to get the friendly organised. Yes, I failed in the end, but only because the other team pulled out two days (three, perhaps) before kick-off. Now instead of telling me that she was going to accept Pres’ “offer” after our chat, she’s left me thinking that I can talk to Parent about it. I now know that she didn’t.

Tomorrow we have our second match of the season at home. I intend to find out:
1. Why Pres had a chance to get involved with my team,
2. Why TM did not give me chance to talk to Parent, and
3. Why TM made the executive decision on the coaching future of the team.

Interestingly enough, Pres has not yet approached me about conducting some kind of introductory session (something I had planned with Parent, also because of the massive difference in ability that I have between players in the team). My reaction to such a request from the Pres is not likely to be viewed favourably by SenC, but they should expect that from me anyway. I am not sure how the JunC will take it.

I am new to the JunC, so I am not sure what their history holds. I am not sure if TM did not give me chance to talk to Parent because they’ve had an issue in the past, or if Parent and JunC committee have had an issue in the past. As TM is a member of the committee, perhaps she acted in the interests of the committee. Either way, I need to know, and I intend to find out ASAP. Ideally I want to find out by talking to people in person. I’ll resort to the phone if I can’t track them down tomorrow before/after our match. And I refuse to use email to initially attack the issue – I’ll be happy to correspond electronically once it’s been raised, but until then I’ll be old-fashioned and, in my opinion, proper – no hiding behind a computer screen.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

Apparently it was just a 'miscommunication' of sorts. Funnily enough TM didn't accuse me of saying I agreed, perhaps because I quoted exactly what I said.

Anyway, I think Senior pres will still be taking over - at the moment I'm pretty cheery about how the girls played on Sunday, so not as upset/annoyed about the whole thing as I was last week.

I still think there's something going on with the club/committee/TM and that parent... conspiracy theories, anyone?