Van Hilst’s Little Black Box

With the Baby Bagos leading us to a better-than-expected second place in the standings and Curt Gavin establishing himself as a member of the USA U20 squad, it was only a matter of time before we loosened the purse strings and allowed the club to take the next step in its evolution.  For us, the moment came at our midseason board meeting where the Chairman, perhaps buoyed by an extra celebratory drink or two after we knocked off the erstwhile contenders Col Gunners, was sufficiently impressed by Club Captain Mariusz Chlystek’s report on the progress of our six core homegrown trainees, Technical Director Conrad van Hilst’s ambitious vision for the Season 70 Project and the unusual lack of veiled insults between two of them that he authorized our financial director to make funds available for what could be as many as four new purchases by the end of this season.

Of course, merely deciding to bring in talent doesn’t make it so.  Someone has to do the hard work of scouting, so we set the minions to work generating reams of reports that were analyzed by what Van Hilst likes to call his “Black Box,” a proprietary program which crunches every last crumb of data in order to figure out which prospects are owned by clubs willing to pay the largest bungs will be the best fit for us going forward.

In our case, the Black Box identified Alexander de Craemer, a 20-year-old fullback  with considerable strength in the air and sideburns that make him a credit to any 70’s Night.  Negotiations ensued, threats were made, leaks planted with malleable members of the media, etc. and, when the dust settled, we wound up paying Le Club Deluxe an eye-watering $6,250,000 for his services.

Personally, I used the opportunity to call in a few markers and get a couple journos to hound the Chairman at the ensuing press conference into committing to making the full war chest available, rather than just uttering platitudes about a new dawn or some such.  Hopefully, public pressure will keep the tap flowing and the new signings coming in, but we shall see.

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