A Breath of Belief - Making It

Jan 12, 2012
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Okay -Road to Glory is not finished (read it though, if you haven't!)! James McKenzie has a lot still to conquer BUT I wanted something new. This may end up being a 15 page story, it may die after 4 or catch up with Road to Glory and I appreciate all the following there and it will return but I want to try my hand at something new. For now. It may be trash but will do what I can!

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I loved football. Everyone says it and it makes sense, football is a beautifully unique game. From the wonders of grassroots to the dizzy heights of the Professional game. The Premier League, Barcelona, fans, World Cup's, FA Cups and all the magic in between. I was decent and the game, I always felt held back. I was a short, technical kid from Scotland. Thankfully some saw past it.



I was picked up by Tottenham as a schoolboy when I was very young. 8 to be exact. The move to London wasn't easy, my Dad was able to travel from Aberdeen with me as his law firm had just opened offices there and it was easy for both parties. Mum on the other hand had to remain in Aberdeen, she was making progress with her career in care and was on the brink of moving from the Council to a private firm and doubling her contract earnings.



By time I was 12 the whole family was in London and we would remain in North London when the Arsenal Academy wanted to bring myself and my buddy Joe over to the club. It was huge, it was exciting and the coaches at Tottenham knew it was best for the both of us. I had began to play through the middle as a midfielder and he was a talented full back. It would be a massive 2 years before I hit 14, then I'd need to progress and develop to ensure a contract at 16. There was this unbelievable amount of pressure. In the February I turned 14 I broke my leg. A mere 3 months before I would find out about my 'contract' status. I felt like I was hanging on by a thread anyway. I was hit with devastating news, I came in for my light training in May just to be turned away. I wouldn't have a contract renewed.






 
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I was angry and just lost. I didn't know what I had done wrong, I was angry at breaking my leg - I fell off a bike. A bike! It wasn't even football related, my Dad was gutted for me but had a word with those back at Tottenham who took me back in for a trial. They wanted me in before they had a month off for Summer and I had hardly kicked a ball and was just back on my feet. I knew I was having a shocker in the fun, youth 'Spurs Cup' that is help between academy players at the end of each year. I was unfit and my touch was all over the place. I left early and apologised for wasting the time of the coaches.



I was chased back to the changing rooms by Jeremy, he was one of the 'social coaches' and he liked me from my earlier term at the club. He told me that they knew I had literally just come back from a broken leg and wanted me to work on my fitness over the Summer and return for the following season to see how it would go.



I knew it was simply that they felt bad for the situation I was in, but I was going to take this chance by the scruff of the neck and play my game. That Summer was spent waking up and playing football right until I would sleep again. Every moment was football. I had to do this. I wanted it so bad.



I returned to the Under 16 squad one month later. And I was back to my former self, playing decent football but for our opening developmental games I was at right back. It was something new but it was playing football. It was funny as Joe was still over at Arsenal as their right back, so it was a funny surprise for him when we eventually played them in August in the Junior London Cup. He was unbelievable. He had come on so much but I heard that he was getting involved in some stupid activity and was on the verge of being kicked. I tried to ask him about it after they smashed us but he wouldn't even open up to me, he spoke a bit and left the post-match meal early.



Eventually I heard he was removed from the club and his family moved him down to Southampton in an attempt to keep him clean and maybe revive his football career, but I never heard anything from him. The season drew to a close. Gerry Francis had been to a few games but he was gone and caretakers and managers came and left. I was to remain at the club, and the next year was the big year. I needed a full time deal when I turned 16. The changes throughout the club were bad for the youth squads. There was no real structure. Just had to play my football.



 
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The season started off poorly. after 3 months and almost ten games I only actually started 2. The new head coach for the 16's side was excited by this new lad who came up and I was struggling to get into the side. Jeremy had left too and I felt isolated. Over our Christmas break I could hardly enjoy myself, football was everything and I knew I had what it took to make it at Tottenham. January was another tough month, we only had 2 games and I wasn't featuring in either.

February was worse, I twisted my ankle in training and would be gone for 3 weeks. March came and went, as did April and by May I was told I wouldn't be brought in on a proper contract. I was gutted, it was Arsenal all over again - but worse - I hadn't even played enough. How could they judge me when I hadn't played enough? I was now club hunting again, as a 16 year old. I had left school and it was either find a club before August or find a job.

 
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"Rory.. ?" I heard my Dad inquire as he pushed my bedroom door open, clutching a letter. It would be a response from one of the several clubs we reached out to as I hunted for a new club. I hopped to my feet, I had been watching video tapes of some of Scotland's best talents.

"Aberdeen are interested in seeing what you can do, they want you to go in on Wednesday to work with their 18's squad. If it goes well.. " he continued, reading more of the letter, "they'll be able to offer a developmental contract worth £45 per week and a room to stay in. It'd be with another player, but I mean I could get you a place to stay if you wanted." he looked up and clutched me in a hug and told me just to believe. No pressure.

Wednesday arrived, I spent the night in Aberdeen with Dad and had training the following day. I settled in quick and was doing alright. I had gone through a few months of gaining some real inches so thankfully I wouldn't be turned away for my size. The day went well and they wanted me to finish off the week and feature in the weekends tie against Peterhead's Reserves.

I'd return to central midfield, I hadn't touched the position since my poor final year at Arsenal and since then I was shifted to right back with Tottenham before being forgotten about for some 13 year old last year. The game went decent, I was involved and a few nice runs here and there kept us looking decent despite losing 5-3. It was expected simply due to the height and experience.

I was offered a 1 year deal before a professional contract would be spoken about. I was given another shot, I was weeks away from looking at awful paying jobs as a 16 year old. Or even a return to school, but I had a shot at football.
 

CraigWL

Member
Jul 16, 2010
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I love in depth stories like this! You've clearly put a lot of thought into this. Looking forward to reading more. Puts my writing to shame! :)
 
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My first year at Aberdeen flew by as a sixteen year old, setting up to turn 17. I was on peanuts, I cleaned the players' boots and I would play 'developmental' matches with the 18's for the first 5 months before I began to make appearances with the reserve squad too, which was a real fun experience. It was me, a few other youngsters and experienced players. I learned a lot and come March I had played 26 games in a developmental squad and 16 with the reserves. I was offered a 3 year Pro contract. I was so excited, I would officially be able to "live" on my football earnings and not rely on Dad's money as a solicitor.




It was £450 per week and I was excited, I had 3 years at Aberdeen. It was the the 1999/2000 season and I was setting up to train with the 'second string' Aberdeen side which would mean training with the first squad every day before the squad would be split depending on who would be in the squad for the next fixture, I was now a footballer. When I was out and about and someone was like "What is it you do?" I could say "I am a professional footballer". It wasn't a "I'm actually just on a schoolboy contract at Aberdeen". That wasn't anything special but actually being regarded as a pro at 17? Unbelievable.




It would turn out to be a very interested year for the club, while we would make 2 finals we would tenth and be on the end of some absolute drubbings. I would make a sub appearance 3 times, once in the league and twice in the Scottish League Cup but really I was just focusing on looking good to everyone in the Reserve side and play more of a part in the side next year. The UEFA Cup would wait for us then too, after our Cup Performances.


 
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We were in the year 2000 and a grueling pre-season had manager Ebbe Skohvdal call me into his office, I was scared. I was definitely going to get the talking to, I was to be loaned out to some minnows or they would be looking to mutually terminate my deal. It wasn't that though. I was to be involved a lot more this year after pressures from the fans to include some more of the young Scottish talent.



He could have easily made himself look good and say he liked me but he made it clear it was because the fans wouldn't have it any other way, I would take it though. I just had to prove myself. That is easier said that done though, he had it in his head I was a right back - and I had been for a short while back at Tottenham but I hadn't touched the position since. I would be at right back against Dunfermline to open the season and thankfully I played decent and their left back was actually a right midfielder but they had some real financial issues and their small squad was also depleted with injuries. I got forward a lot and a lot of fans talked highly of me, I was a talking point that night on Sportscene too which was nice. "Where has he come from?", "He can go far", was the big things mentioned. I immediately called my Dad after the Sportscene show and he was actually angry.



He hated how there was this constant pressure on youngsters to perform, pointing out Barry Ferguson and the lot. But he was also proud at my performance but was desperate for me to keep my head, pointing out the fact Dunfermline were a mess and the score was only 0-0.



I would feature the following week too, grabbing an assist for our first but I also got turned inside out a few times by their wide men. I was taken off after half time due to this and got a real bollocking from Ebbe. It was incredibly scary and I just sat on the bench red-faced. When he returned from the sideline to slump just a seat or two away from me I was desperate to right my wrongs and merely mentioned "You know I am a f*cking central midfielder? I'm not used to playing this role where I have to cut out long diagonals then take the ball off these pacey c*nts?" he just looked at me, got to his feet and stared at me before returning bawl out some more instructions.



The incident was all over Sunday papers and I was told not to come into training for a few days. I was the talking point of Sportscene again and Dad was angry too. The same as the week prior.



I'd miss out on our European qualifiers against Bohemians too, we would lose in an embarrassing two games.
 
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After things calmed down a bit I began to train with the first team again and a few injuries had me back at right back by October where I started against Celtic. The first time I had played one of the big clubs, but it was Rangers I most looked forward to competing against due to the fans hatred for each other. I had a decent game back in and fans were wanting to see more of me, I had a Henrik Larsson to contend with but we managed a 1-1. Stopping Celtic from continuing their winning ways as they failed to win for the first time that season.



I held onto my spot for almost 4 games and was dropped ahead of the Rangers tie after the squad needed a serious shake-up after numerous defeats and poorer performances. We'd lose to Rangers too. I would be brought back for the Edinburgh trip to face Hibs and I put in a top performance. We won 2-0 and I was great at working down the right, I had an assist and cracked the bar from 30 yards. I was competent defensively too as I picked up my first ever man of the match award. I was poorer defensively in our 3-3 with St Mirren and from there I was in, out and around the Aberdeen side as we saw out the 2000/01 season in 7th spot. I had played 19 games and was the clubs' runner-up for 'Young Player of the Year' behind Derek Young.



Overall, I was very pleased with the progress I was making. I would be in and around the Youth Set-up with Scotland, playing in both U18 and U20 squads. I had another 2 years to prove myself before my contract would expire. I could easily break the first team squad at this rate too. Just have to remain focused, I had this belief and ambition that I just didn't feel anyone else had. I could reach the top.
 
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I'd be setting up to spend the 2001/02 season with the club too, I was 19 and raring to go for another year at Aberdeen. Sat in Granite City, the place I was born. I had some fond memories of the place, but most had come from my second stint in the city. My first stint was just until I was 8 then I was off to London with my Father to play with Tottenham Hotspur.



The season started with me finally getting to play Rangers, it would be at Pittodrie in front of 19,000 fans. Incredibly loud fans at that, the Rangers support was incredible as always but the Aberdeen fans were equally loud. We weren't good enough and were beaten 3-0. I had to deal with the likes of Mols, Nerlinger and Reyna but I was still relatively decent but I never got a shot to really go forward, we were so pinned. I'd then feature in the following two games where we failed to score and lost to Edinburgh duo Hibs and Hearts.



I'd be replaced by a few others for the next set of games where we found some wins and were really quite solid with losses only coming against Celtic and then Rangers again (I'd miss out on an Ibrox debut). However, I did find myself back into Ebbe's plans after McAllister suffered a knock. I knew I was better than him, I had a lot of promise - I knew this and I had to work for me. I'd be back in the side for Christmas, my first start in the league since our loss to Hearts and I was desperate to hold my position. It would be against Celtic, we would win 2-0 and I played an absolute blinder. I was causing a lot of problems with over and underlapping runs. I'd have an assist and my first professional goal in the victory that saw us celebrating Christmas on a real high.



We'd return after the festivities to be absolutely shocking though, I picked up a nasty and recurring groin issue so missed the bulk of our 6 losses in a row and returned for a 4-3 win over Hibs in an epic encounter, I'd grab another two assists and from here Ebbe decided to give me a run back in central midfield after getting excited at my technical prowess. We'd go on a lovely run of 7 games without defeat before losing only to Celtic twice and Rangers once to close out the season. I'd play the majority of the second half of the season and feature 24 times. Scoring 3 and grabbing 9 assists. It was another solid season.



The season came to a close and I joined Darren Mackie and Russell Anderson and a few local friends on a trip to Spain only to find out Mackie who was the same age as myself was given a new deal despite having a year left on it - sure he deserved it but I wanted one too and got linked with the agent figure - a middle man that was making their mark on the game to try and get myself a new deal.



It would turn into an awful saga over the Summer, I hit the headlines for a picture that surfed of myself in a drunken state on a street in Spain and then a source at the club reported to the press that I was badgering for a new deal. I was back to Scotland and straight to the top. Stewart Milne, the club chairman, was ready to terminate my deal. He had grounds to it too, I brought the club into bad light. I was pushed to sack my agent and drop the new contract talk or be walking. I dropped the agent and request of a new contract. I was young, I didn't know what I was doing - I just wanted a new deal and some money.


 
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There was a pressure on me to really succeed going onto the 2002/03 season. I had this stupid story of the summer looming over my head however Ebbe Skohvdahl had a lot of pressure on himself to bring Aberdeen into real contention and to move further on from the 4th place finish last year and so felt I was the best way in doing that at right back despite Milne's wishes for me to be on the bench, if in the squad at all.



It was the best call he made, he didn't make many good calls and we were awful as a team but I was full of life can looked good. I showed off against sides in Europe before getting knocked out in October by Hertha Berlin and with my deal coming to a close at the end of the season by time we hit December with a poor looking Aberdeen side I had a few agents contact me saying they had moves lined up for me.



I knew I needed an agent for the best of my career, eventually I received a call from Dad. Jeremy was now back in football as an agent - the same man who believed in me at Tottenham - where he was as a Social Coach. He was currently 'managing' 17 players. Most were decent youngsters from across England where most of his contacts laid anyway.



He had 3 interested English clubs, Tottenham were apparently watching as well as Birmingham and Manchester City. I knew from personal calls that Rangers were also keen for my signature and a lot of this had began to cause quite the media storm and Milne was straight to Pittodrie days after he sacked Ebbe to get me to sign a new deal so they received money for me.



"Wow, you know you could have talked about how I was a talent or real asset to the club - but instead go straight to talking money? Maybe I didn't want to go anyway? I won't sign a new deal with you as chairman." I shook my head and left his meeting room immediately, he had literally just told me he wanted to use me as money.



I did decide I would contemplate staying depending on the new boss but in came Steve Paterson as a cheap option who I feel had a strict instruction not to use me, the best player form wise at the club. I'd rarely feature as the season drew to a close and we finished 8th. My deal was up and I would be leaving Aberdeen on a free, fans were angry at the way I was handled but the news of Spain the year before made it "make sense."



This annoyed me so much, I was a normal lad. I went to Spain with a few mates and someone snapped a picture of me looking a little rough and I was just a lad who could get more money for my services.



If you can get more, why wouldn't you?


 
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ABERDEEN RELEASE SCOTT



20 YEAR OLD RORY SCOTT has today been released by Aberdeen FC after his 3 year deal at the club came to an end. Rory Scott was crafted as a central midfielder and right back while an academy prospect at London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham before injuries lead to his release at 16.

Since then, Aberdeen picked him up on a developmental deal and then professional contract where he has began to feature as a key member of the team. Under Ebbe Skohvdahl he was a key player and had been linked with moves to giants Liverpool and Rangers before Steve Paterson came in at Christmas and Rory Scott was written out of the side despite criticism from Craig Brown, who recently left as Scotland boss, who said "he looks a talent but can't be picked if he isn't playing. He could be huge for Scotland."

It has been reported that Scott will be in Glasgow later this week for talks with Rangers FC who are in a tricky financial situation and a source close to the parties involved has said "Scott is a free agent who won't be after excessive amounts of money, he fits the bill perfectly." This comes as interesting news as the likes of Barry Ferguson, Neil McCann and Amoruso have all been sold on. Rory Scott would be set to join the likes of Gavin Rae and Emerson in a move to Ibrox.

 
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"Well then, Rory. Welcome to Ibrox."
Alex McLeish welcomed we at the entrance and reception of the ground. It was a nice touch to see him officially welcome me himself as me and Jeremy followed him through to David Murray. The clubs current owner.




"Well, as you maybe know we aren't in the best financial situation but have a wealth of ability, history and potential here currently at Rangers and you can really add to that." McLeish opened up. Before he looked over to David Murray.



"We saw what you were on at Aberdeen and can easily see you on £2,000 per week here. Never mind the bonuses, Champions League football and a shot at silverware."



After a few bits of chatting and talking away I signed a deal and was announced as a new signing the following morning. Aberdeen fans now despised me and Rangers fans didn't want a "Sheep sha^^er" at the club.



Lovely. Set to prove myself once again.
 

Disclaimer89

Member
Feb 24, 2012
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Really taking off now man.

Hopefully you can make a name for yourself at Rangers!

I eagerly await the next update..
 
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