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Monday 6 February 2012

Book of the Month – Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King by Philippe Auclair – Chapter Two – Auxerre: The Apprentice

    A frank talk of a mind already set; a childhood left behind; dodgems and a billiards table, symbols of adolescence.

    Naughty or disturbed? It’s a fine line, but one not tread alone.

    Life was beautiful, for both club and country. The finest of a strong class, a dancing lumberjack of sorts; the kindness of a Pole, kindled the teacher in the budding professional.

    The third division, a scrap to exist; trouble with miners and some cross-country skiing to round the experience.

    A title, a national cap, and goals aplenty; but still only a talent youth.

    The first team, a step beyond; a diplomatic incident, a sign of the remaining immaturity. National service beckons; the old boy network put to use; a year in the wilderness of youth – and somehow Gabon – as a military athlete.

    A maturation in the midst of the sowing of oats; perhaps.

    Determination of will supersedes all, even the direct orders of a superior.

    That first goal, in the pissing rain of France’s chamber pot. And another to seal qualification; the apprenticeship was over.

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