We’ve landed! After a flurry of interviews with teams in trouble in the Mexican Expansion League, Universidad de Guadalajara have taken a chance on this relatively unknown English manager. With a hastily packed suitcase (and Spanish phrasebook in the hand luggage) we hop on a flight from the UK over to Mexico to meet up with our new side.
In a landmark season for the Black Lions (the 50th since their founding in 1970), UdeG find themselves 5th in the league, with 1 game left in the ‘Opening Stage’ of the Mexican Expansion League.
We’ll be playing our home games with the Black Lions at Estadio Jalisco – which happens to be the 3rd largest stadium in the country. It can hold over 55,000! We currently share it with Atlas from the league above.
Part of the beauty of this save is learning about different teams and leagues; and the MEL is a perfect place to start.
The season is split into two halves, an opening stage and a closing stage, where clubs can attempt to qualify for the end of season ‘Expansion League Champions Trophy’. With no relegation/promotion between the Mexican Leagues, this is the highest we can aim for with UdeG.
An initial meeting with my staff and the squad proved helpful. With the noticeable language barrier between myself and the players – we will be relying on the ‘Universal Language of Football’ for the foreseeable.
The squad are looking pretty good, however. Definite potential to push on from our current 5th place up towards the top of the table.
With tactics still to be resolved. It’ll be interesting to see where we can go with this side. We’re still to learn about transfer windows, transfer rules and much more in our debut in Mexico. We’ve got just over 2 weeks until our first game against Celaya (the last game of the regular Opening Stage), and then onto the qualifying stages for the Champions Cup!