The kick-off began, and the emotion of the last two sentences voiced by Manager Marley was still swimming around the young players minds. Immediately, their intensity is shown through their fierceness. The phrase ”kill them ” remained strong in the youthful players hearts.

”Welcome to the highly anticipated U-19 Match between Le Harve at home and RC Lens away. This match would be for sure one for generations to come. As these players that are battling on the pitch may be the ones that fight for Derby Normand in Ligue 2. I am your commentator Sébastien Leandres, and beside me is… OH! BENOIT LEROY JUST TACKLED CENTRE-BACK JUSTE SALMON. AND THE LENS CENTRE-BACK ISNT GETTING UP! ”

The commentator hadn even had the chance to finish his customary introduction before the calamity occurred on the pitch. Sébastien had to change his dialogue midway to keep up with the game.

From the instant kick-off occurred, of which RC Lens was the one that had the pleasure. Their normal training routine has taken over, with them being a possession-based side as taught from their academy. The Lens players calmly passed the ball from the strikers to the backline, looking to immediately showcase their patient game.

But the Le Harve No.9, Leroy chased the ball without any thought, hotheaded and impulsive. The striker immediately tackled the Centre-Back who had the ball to his feet. Salmon saw Leroy running straight at him, and instantly panicked, laying the ball off to his centre-back partner. But all was done a little too slow, as Leroy and Salmon crashed into each other at full force.

The referee blew his whistle straight after the accident. Leroy sat on the ground for a few lingering seconds before standing up and shaking off the full impact like nothing ever happened. However, it seems Salmon was still on the ground, with the Centre-Back hitting the ground repeatedly like he was in excruciating pain.

The Lens players rushed to their fallen teammates side. Whilst some went straight to the cause of the accident, with them bumping their heads into the undisciplined Le Harve striker.

”What was that for?! ” A Lens player shouted, even though he and Leroy were only inches away, with their respective forehead bumping into each other.

”You could have ended his career! ” He shouted at Leroy, but the striker had no reply, only pushing him back with full force.

Another Lens player rushed to the scene. But the referee furiously blew his whistle, whilst he squeezed in between Leroy and the furious Lens players, shielding the two teams away from one another.

The referee looked over the teams, ensuring he had the situation under control before deciding the severity of the injury. He checked on Salmon, asking him if he was fit to play, as well as gesturing to the Lens medical staff to enter the pitch.

Leroy only walked away from the scene like nothing ever happened. Walking at a slow steady pace back to Le Harves side of the pitch.

Marley had a silly look on his face. With him not sure whether to laugh or cry. He told his players before the match to ”kill them ”, but not literally! But then again, he probably expected something like this to happen with the crazy Leroy on the field.

Commentator Sébastiens job just seemed a little more interesting all of a sudden as he spoke feverishly: ”Oh, that looks quite serious! The Lens physios are already on the pitch and are treating him immediately. That the Centre-Back of Lens, that Leroy just took out in the first minute of the game. I have my concerns for Juste Salmon, but surely the Le Harve No.9, Benoite Leroy, can get away from that with just a verbal warning! ”

Everyone in the stands was going crazy over what just happened. With frenzied supporters from RC Lens jeering profusely at the Le Harve striker.

Kai heard a loud slap from the person sitting next to him. And he looked at the source and found Lanier, which was sitting next to him in the technical area, have teeth gritted. His forehead also has a large red print, the Tactical Coach must have slapped himself silly.

”Oh look. Juste Salmon, the Lens No.5 is standing up, he is hopping on his feet but he looks just fine. Thank goodness it wasn a bad injury. Looks like Leroy got lucky there and didn seriously injure the Lens Centre-Back. ” Commentator Sébastien said in a relieved tone, and everyone could imagine him wiping an invisible sweat that is caused by his worry.

Lanier looked furious. He has a bit of a temper and we could all see that. But his once expectant mood to this clash turned sour, directed at Leroys rash challenge at Salmon.

”Action from Le Harve technical area. One of the coaches is evidently not pleased by his players actions. Look! He is openly scolding the kid. Much deserved! You can make challenges like that on players like Salmon, mate! ” The commentator had no hesitance in his speech, openly critiquing Leroys mistake and showing his discontent with dangerous tackles.

Marley seemed as if he had turned green from all the pent-up frustration inside of him. Kai wondered if the pot-bellied manager wanted to do nothing else but smack Leroy back into his sense.

Back on the field. Gérald, the Le Harve captain, had a dark look on his face as Leroy walked past him. ”I know you are fired up. But that is no excuse to injure him! ”

A snicker came from the nimble striker, though this detail wasn noticed by Gérald as Leroys height only reached his chin.

The referee adorned in his yellow shirt came rushing through to Leroys side, before pulling out a card from his breast pocket. There was a sigh of relief from the Le Harve supporters, as it was only a Yellow Card. However, the RC Lens supporters felt it was unjust and furious. They booed at the referees decision. Though it was disjointed, as those that were displaying their fury were only a few parents and hardcore fans of RC Lens.

Marley had his work cut out for him. One minute into the game and the teams main striker is already booked.


”Damn Punk! ” Lanier yelled as he smacked his seat in frustration. ”I thought he knew better than that! ” Then he followed by some curse words, most of which were quieter as they were directed at himself than the player

Sébastien took the opportunity, realising that the game has resumed to a natural pace, before introducing the players, though he started with the one currently in everyones spotlight.

”Well well well… If my statistics are correct. Benoit Leroy is one of Le Harves stand-out performers, with him netting a total of 6 goals after only, 10 league matches. The striker also has contributed on the front line with his creativity, with him also providing a further 3 assists for his teammates. The only player on Le Harve U-19 to score more than the No.9 thus far is Mauger Chevalier, the flashy No.7 on Le Harves left wing. With him netting a total of 8 goals this season. However, what is concerning is that the No.9 has thus far been booked for every match this season, except the opening game which he only came on as a sub. What are your thoughts on this? Horace? ”

The second commentator that has yet to speak for the duration of the match finally had a chance to speak. Horace coughed a few times before providing his opinion. ”Just going by the raw data, Leroy is indeed, without a doubt, a diamond in the rough. But with his booking record, I am afraid it will be a major concern for any manager playing him. Down here in the lower leagues, Leroy may continue like this without any serious repercussions. But he must, he must fix this temperament of his if he wants to make it to the professional scene. ”

”Hmm, yes. What a concerning record for any player to have. Now, lets move further down the lineup and focus on Le Harves No.7. The silky smooth Left-Winger. . . ”

Kai tuned out the commentary that is delivered by the duo of Sébastien and Horace. His observant nature allowed him to maintain his absolute concentration on the pitch, dissecting the fine momentum of the game.

After the foul was awarded, RC Lens continued their steady game, with them dominating much of the ball, which appears to be glued to their feet. Though it seems the earlier tackle by Leroy has done some mental effect on the opposition players mentality, with them aggressively looking for their overlapping Wing-Backs attacking from the byline. Which was much expected from Le Harves coaching staff.

This was because no space in the middle of the pitch can be exploited by the opposition team. And whenever the Lens Midfielders try to start creating chances through the central spaces, they realised they were thoroughly stopped by the Le Harve Midfield. Kai could find reassurance in the match, and this is much thanks to their Midfield Trio of Gérald Roys, Crescenzo Rivera, and Papillion Séverin.

The Midfield Trio have been, unsurprisingly, the key factor in keeping RC Lens threatening attacking at arms length, and keeping the pace of the game moving along at a reasonable tempo for the rest of the team, whilst at the same time taking away any space that could be afforded for their opponent.

But in almost a whisper, Kai could hear Lanier murmuring to himself beside him. In a sully mood as he doesn look in the least amused by the situation on the pitch and the frustrating booking of Benoit Leroy.

”Every single damn day. I told him to stop being so dumb and have a cool head on the pitch. I stressed to him to be composed on the damn pitch. But every damn match he gets booked. What is this, he hasn learnt a single thing from my lecture. ” Lanier grumbled to himself, as he gazed at the battle in front of them. Observant of the ongoing match, yet simultaneously speaking to himself in a small voice.

”Mr Lanier. You think so? ” Kai asked the frustrated Lanier.

”No. I think he is dumber than ever. He never changes his habits. ” Lanier said without turning his head, his vision locked onto the ball which was in RC Lens control.

”Do you think a player, that just got the injury of his life, can just walk it off like nothing ever happened to him? ” Kai replied whilst peeking at the Lens Centre-Back that is commandingly distributing the ball to his teammates from the back.

Lanier, upon listening to Kais suspicion, refocused onto Juste Salmon, which is continuously passing the ball between himself and the midfielders, dictating the tempo of the match whilst stopping Le Harves attempts at stealing the ball. ”He seems. . . to be in fine condition? ”

Kai nodded. ”Does he look injured to you? Even after such a dangerous collision from Leroy? ”

The bald yet temperamental coach was silent, eyes sparkled with a new realisation. ”No. . . ”

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