The day after the Veternik game, the board announced that they were very pleased with Boris Krakov’s performance; a message that must have wounded Vasa. As if to celebrate, Alex fractured his arm and would be missing for 3 weeks, which only really meant one game because of the break. The not so welcomed news was that Atletico Madrid were after teenage winger Pilipovic. He was one of the Under 18 stars I had covered in the programme, and he was now in the reserves. Boris wanted to start playing him as a substitute in the first team after the break, but his fear was that someone would swoop for him while he was still on a youth contract. Boris offered him a new contract, and told Atletico to fuck themselves unless they paid up £250,000 rather than the £22,000 they were offering. I could see his point; Novi Sad were nearly a quarter of a million in debt, and a few thousand were no good to man nor beast. With the transfer window approaching, it was essential to shift some of the dead wood.
The day before the Bezanija game, the shit hit the fan. Atletico came back with an offer of £250,000. I knew what Boris was thinking – if they’d pay that, how much more could he get. The offer was non-negotiable. Boris rejected it. He wasn’t sure whether it would come back to bite him, but it didn’t feel right. He slapped a valuation of £500,000 on the player. Atletico faded away, but Lyon were now interested. Boris stuck him in the first team. Was he crazy for turning down £250,000?
That night I went to see Muntpig. She refused to come to any Novi Sad games, but always wanted to know what happened, what the score was, who had scored. She knew all about the team, and even knew about the Reserve and Under 18 players, but I couldn’t get her to be at a match. I’d often asked why, and she’d respond by lifting up her skirt, running her finger through her matted bush, and sticking it under my nose. That always changed the conversation! Later on, I told her about Pilipovic, and she laughed, indicating that Boris should have taken the money. Then we went to bed and I performed a few acts that are illegal in civilised countries.
Our first game against Bezanija had been a 0-0 bore draw, but we needed the three points to give ourselves some space at the top of the table. Alex was replaced by Mirkin, The Turd returned and Pilipovic was on the bench, with Enigma dropping out of the squad. It was wet and cold, with Bezanija attacking from the very start. With five minutes gone they could have been 3-0 up. The game settled down, and both teams had a few chances. The defence was working well, but the Novi Sad attack looked weak; only Boggy the Elder was working, and then only at half pace. On 34 minutes, the ball fell to Boggy the Elder, who seeing the keeper off his line, looped in an audacious 40 yard strike to take first blood! It might have been undeserved on the run of play, but the strike itself was an absolute peach. On 45 minutes Bezanija thought they had equalised, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
On 50 minutes, Novi Sad were over-committed in attack. Ilijah tried to slip a ball through to Boggy the Elder, but it was intercepted and belted down the field, where Ivic picked it up and scored. A repeat ten minutes later saw Ivic get his second, and Boris made some changes, with Zorro on for Mirkin and Horvat on for Darko. Bezanji continued the game as they started it, and on 80 minutes an Ivic chip saw him get his hat trick. On 90 minutes a Boggy the Elder free kick smacked off the post, Pilipovic made his debut and we all knew we’d blown the chance to go into the break with a healthy lead. Veternik won their game 3-0. Two points separated us from Veternik and Bezenija. Igor Maksimovic, a Reserve squad striker, announced he was retiring. At least there was some good news on the day!
NB. As I said before, this is not my own work. It is Vic Flange’s. The original work can be found on TheDugout, right here. TheDugout is dying, so I’m rescuing the story and giving it the attention it deserves.