The core of the first team of the club he’d signed for were expatriated Scots. Most had played professionally at respectable levels in their homeland before an invitation to chase the ball over the pond in sunnier climates tempted them abroad. Some had played in Ranger, Celtic derbies in Scotland’s top flight. It was common knowledge at the club but the players involved never saw fit to broach the subject, at least publically at any rate. Granite tough, skillful and canny, what had been lost with age they’d replaced with nous. They’d take turns to see who could make the young charges look the silliest.
When in possession, a veteran would toe poke the ball into any youngster foolish enough to attempt to relinquish him of it. The ball would ricochet with sufficient force back off of their hapless adversary for the Scotsman to retrieve and repeat the act, whenever appropriate, until the rookie would come to expect it. Given enough time, as the senior of the pair recoiled his leg to smack the ball into his youthful opponent once more, the defender’s self-preservation instinct would kick in. (more…)