Just In Time

By Matt Furtek

We have been here two and a half months now, and anything that once felt alien has pretty much diminished. Our daily routines, places of visit and even some of the language is all part of the norm. On occasion Jamie and I even find ourselves replying to one another in Hebrew, albeit a basic word or two with poor pronunciation.

In the mornings we move with the fluid economy that of a hungover slug, sensory functions drip-feed back into our nervous systems and we eventually get going.

We function with automation, each with our own self-obtained duties. I’ve assumed the role of head chef, whilst Jamie is lead washer-upper. Don’t laugh, it’s mean.

General sense and perception has changed, from the Mediterranean laid-back mentality and timings to the sense of currency. Our grasp on the pound and dollar has lessened, and we find ourselves operating in Shekels.

After the daily coaching, it’s straight home; drop the bibs and balls off, then summoned to play with a fully expectant Luca. When it’s time to retire back to the apartment, she will usually try to nudge her way through the door, and on occasion succeeding. Being that I’m the fun one out of us, Jamie assumes the role of the disciplinarian and takes her out. Sometimes amicably, sometimes not. One exit saw Luca being slid out on her back, locked in the roll over paws-in-air pose, whilst maintaining her puppy dog eyes fixed onto Jamie. How he had the heart to do it I’ll never know.

You find something interesting, and your friend won't even pay attention...

Blogs are written from a sun-soaked picturesque garden and panoramic porch, privacy and refuge offered by surrounding walnut and lemon trees, enveloped in a peaceful sanctuary. Writing sessions are usually enlivened by an enthusiastic Luca, who interprets the action of me sitting down on the chair as, ‘Play time?!’  After a few attempts of a drool-covered ball dropped onto my laptop, the message sinks in and we finish the writing together companionably.

Even the last minute surprises on arrival at schools cease to surprise anymore, such as ‘popping in’ to a classroom to take an English lesson with 5 minutes notice. It’s amazing how creativity and improvisation improve two-fold when time is halved.

Killing time, might as well climb

Cone Road Cops!

Cone road is familiar to many a coach, especially ones that have spent several hour… days, at St Aloysius playing field. They’re probably not however, used to cone road with cops. Coaching versatility certainly comes into play when a police car needs to drive through your session.

I believe in standing strong towards any attempted disruptions on a session, but it was morning, and my bloodstream had caffeine deficiency. Well that and they had guns. Big guns.


While we were once hailed under the sobriquet of “Arsenal!” by the kids, we have garnered a much more colloquial and personal greeting in recent weeks of “Matt and Jamie!”. Bonds with teachers are always improving, with one revealing last week that we are the best they’ve had in the 7 years of the programme. While nice to hear on one hand, it makes it all the more sad to be leaving on the other.

And all of this, while a welcome feeling, comes just in time for the end. We embark on a 6 day tour of the south of Israel, flying home a day afterwards. Even though we have new and exciting challenges awaiting us next in the Philippines, we still do not want this amazingly unique journey to end.

Until next time.