Ari loved being a coach. He thought that he would miss being a star player, hearing the roar of the crowd in his ears as he raced across the pitch. But the truth was, he found that being a coach was, in some ways, even better.
The Golden Nuggets were a sorry team when he first began to work with them. The past season, they ranked second to last in the league, with only 2 wins. The players were lazy and out-of-shape, with poor technique. Ari stepped in with a no-nonsense attitude, putting the players through rigorous conditioning and skills training.
“Come on, coach!” the women often complained at first. “We got that play right ten times in a row.”
“I hate Coach Ari,” he sometimes overheard the players whisper to each other as they shot dirty looks in his direction. But Ari didn’t care. They didn’t have to like him, as long as they won football matches. And win they did. When the season began, the Golden Nuggets were like a brand-new team, winning game after game. And suddenly, the city of Gold Valley caught football fever. It seemed as though everyone was wearing Golden Nuggets merchandise and filling the stands during home games, cheering on their women’s team – and Coach Ari, too.