Boss Or One Of The Boys? The Dilemma Every New Captain Faces
New Melbourne City FC captain Scott Jamieson is one of the most popular players in the A-League.
Can he keep things that way now he's skipper? After chatting to him this week ahead of the Melbourne Derby on the first week of the A-League 2018/19 season, we're inclined to think he'll be just fine.
ANT: Seems like about five minutes ago we were watching Melbourne Victory winning the A-League. Which must have hurt you to watch, Scott. And now here you are, about to meet the Victory in the first round of the new season. Special bonus: you're the new captain of Melbourne City. Congrats.
ANT: I'm going to ask you about the captaincy, but first, I have an important question for you. You're not expecting this but here goes. Who would win a fight between a kangaroo and an emu?
SCOTT: A kangaroo. The emu's got that sharp beak, but I think a kangaroo has options. There's the element of fronting up and boxing but a kangaroo could also jump and attack aerially rather than just from the front.
ANT: Hey speaking of aerial attack, you've recruited Riley McGree who scored the spectacular scorpion kick goal against you guys in Newcastle last year.
SCOTT: Yeah, the goal that helped knock us out of the A-League.
ANT: Yup, that'd be the one. So I hear you guys call him 'fluky'.
SCOTT: Fluky? I might have said that early on, but not for a while. Mind you, that goal was a bit fluky, wasn’t it. Suffice to say he hasn’t attempted anything like that at training or anything like it. It’s a case of lightning struck once and I think it will only strike once in this lifetime.
ANT: OK. You're named captain, You do a million media interviews. Everyone wants a piece of you. You go home. You breathe. You process it. What are you thinking?
SCOTT: I’d known for quite a while before it was announced. But you're right. After it was announced officially, it does become more real. And I guess I realised what a massive honour it is. It's something that I don’t take lightly. But I think above all, it’s about continuing to be me and being who I’ve been for a long period of time.
ANT: So who are you?
SCOTT: Someone who’s always going to be a bit of a pain the arse! I really like to wind people up and in that sense it’s always fun -- or maybe not fun -- to be around me, because I do like pushing people’s buttons. But I think behind closed doors and inside the football club, there’s a side of me that is very competitive. When it comes to competing I enjoy the duel and the joust. So there are two sides to me, and in some ways those two sides complement each other, and I’ll continue to be both.
ANT: Can you really be one of the lads and lord of the lads at the same time?
SCOTT: As captain, there’s no denying that in some ways you’re an extension of the coach, and in most teams the coach is not looked upon too kindly if you’re not playing. So I understand there will be challenges throughout the season, good and bad, and I’ll approach them the only way I know and that’s with an honest clear mind. Good captains in all sports lead through actions. So for me, it’s about working hard in training and games, and if that’s a certainty, I think the guys will understand that anything I say or do is for the good of the team.
ANT: Tough first up assignment against the Victory. They basically look like the United Nations this year with all the overseas players they've signed.
SCOTT: The look good on paper but in their pre-season they got knocked out of the FFA Cup by Apia Leichhardt and they’ve had a few other losses. I respect the players that all the clubs sign and fair play to the Victory they’ve invested in some players who’ve been at World Cups. But I don’t buy into it too much. I can promise you that we won’t be standing there thinking about Keisuke Honda and his AC Milan days or anything like that. We’ve invested in some very good Australian lads and we’ve also brought in a few good foreigners.
ANT: Hey speaking about foreigners, I helped write a column on behalf of your Uruguay-born star Bruno Fornaroli earlier this year. Great guy and all, but it was hard work! Has his English gotten better over summer?
SCOTT: No, not too much, I think Bruno knows the amount of English he needs to know. It's always a good laugh having a conversation with him because he just comes out with these words in a totally different way!
ANT: His English is still better than my Spanish.
ANT: I know your dad is the inspiration behind your career. Tell me about him.
SCOTT: My father Alex played for Ipswich under Sir Bobby Robson. He won the youth FA Cup final there and made the Scottish Under 21s, then moved out to Australia and played for Sydney Olympic and Parramatta Melita Eagles. He never said too much or pushed me too hard growing up. He was very good like that as a father.
ANT: And then you went to England aged 16. I mean, you hear a lot about kids going over there so young, but when you stop and think about it: wow. It's just so young.
SCOTT: I don’t think I understood the enormity of it at the time, I thought it was normal in regards to chasing a dream. You look back now and you see what you could have done better and what you did do well.
ANT: Is there one moment you remember above all others?
SCOTT: I have some good memories, but I also remember going into the office and getting told that I was free to leave the football club when I’d finished my contract.
ANT: Which was a polite way of saying you were unwanted.
SCOTT: Yep. And it was obviously a blow to be told I was not wanted. In any walk of life that's not easy to hear -- whether it's football or an office job or a relationship. But I wasn't in the first team at the time so I kind of saw it coming for a while. So it was just about accepting where to go next. That was the plan.
ANT: But to go back to that word "unwanted", you are now officially very, very wanted. In essence, that's what the captaincy means. That you, Scott Jamieson, are the man seen fit to be the figurehead of a successful club in a terrific league that's rising in status in the world.
SCOTT: And it's a great feeling. I’m so proud and honoured to lead this great club.
ANT: And I hope you kick off the season the right way tonight against the Victory. Thanks for talking to ten daily, Scott.
SCOTT: Thanks Ant.
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