The Apprenticeship

Vienna Barnes is given the opportunity of a lifetime when she is offered an apprenticeship to work for her favourite football club, Sunderland AFC.

Sunderland AFC are one of the biggest clubs in the North East. After pulling off the greatest escape in Barclays Premier League history, the Black Cats are back in action, and sitting nervously towards the bottom of the table.

Just as Vienna arrives at the club, a bombshell is dropped, and owner Ellis Short sells the club to a mystery new owner. This new owner is determined to keep themselves a secret from the footballing world, and the media are therefore forced to keep possibly the biggest secret and scandal in footballing history.

Soon, all begins to fall apart at the club, and the new owners drive Sunderland into the ground. Thinking on her feet, Vienna steps in to offer her help in any shape or form.

With problem after problem unveiling, will Sunderland AFC still remain intact by the end of the season?


32. Away the Lads!

Yay for updates! :P

I think this is actually the first update I've done since Christmas, holy crap. Sorry about that.

If you've read my mumbles then you'll know that I'm not very well at the minute. I started to feel a little bit better so I've updated for you all. Hopefully I'm on the up now but I can't be too careful.

I've decided that as I keep drifting in and out with Uni, and other sorts of stuff, I'm going to make an extra effort with the next chapter. As you all should know my idol is a man called Sebastian Larsson who is one of Sunderland's players. He hasn't really been mentioned that much in the story so far because I haven't really found a place for him, but I always wanted to bring in my love for him as a part of Vienna and the backstory to her life - so that's what I'm going to do. The next chapter will be the 'ball', (as you'll read by the end of this chapter), and someone who we've not seen for a while will finally introduce Vienna to her idol. I'm potentially looking to add a lot of my story in this next chapter, and why I admire Seb so much, but I'm not sure. It will involve a lot of difficult material for me to write and I don't know if I am 100% up to sharing it.

That's why I've kind of kept my 'identity' a secret on here, because the majority of the characters in this story are either real people, or based on people in my life. Like Henry Wilson is actually based on a guy that I used to have a crush on, same age and everything. Megan Barnes is based on one of my best friends who has the same surname, and the name for Vienna actually comes from a girl at my college who I didn't really know that well but I just thought her name was amazing. Sophie is fairly similar to my other best friend who is just the sweetest thing in the whole world and even Anna Young is based off this girl who I used to go to college with...Of course she doesn't have the psychotic tendencies that Anna does, but her whole persona and how she carries herself is resembled in the girl I knew from college. Dimitri is based off a fictional character in a book who my best friend (who Megan is based on), is absolutely obsessed with. She pestered me for days on end to include him in this story and is still begging me to marry Megan off with him. My family are all based on the real people themselves, although I don't get on with my brother as much as Vienna gets on with Vincent. That's about it really!

So whether or not I really go in deep with this next chapter I do not know. I'm sort of scared to what the reaction may be, but I do sometimes enjoy getting all the past off my chest. I think it may also add a certain dramatic side to the story, and inject some of the issues going on today with young people which basically just adds more to the whole 'Realism' genre.

Anyway enough of all the talking. This chapter may not be brilliant but it's the best I could do with a half swollen face! :P


"Eight nil. Eight fucking nil." Dean groans, dropping his head into his hands.

"That's got to be some sort of record." June jokes, "This is unbelievable man."

Harry just informed us of the news that Sunderland received an absolute hammering at the hands of Southampton. A whopping 8-0, and two of those goals were own goals by Santiago Vergini and Liam Bridcutt. All those fans made their way down to see their beloved team (apparently) make an absolute tit of themselves. Whether or not they were THAT bad, I dunno. I'll definitely be watching Match of the Day later on to see this train wreck.

"Mannone apparently gave away two of the goals, and Wes wasn't much better." Harry adds, "Anyway, come on. Off with you all. Get home."

With that the group heads back into the back room and towards the lockers. Sophie and I stand up against the door to the stock room, discussing the atrocious score as the group gathers their things and heads home.

"See yous later lass'." Sophie waves to us both and leaves with Dean and Chris.

"I'll see you again on Tuesday, yeah?" Jared smiles, bringing me in for a tight embrace before exiting the shop.

"Sure thing." I giggle, "Have a good weekend mate."

I nod towards Sophie and we both head towards our lockers. James' presence is felt next to me, and I know he's staring at me. I can't help but tingle all over, but feel repulsed at the same time. This is madness.

"You can't avoid me forever you know."

"Who said I was avoiding you?" I harshly ask, "I just have things on my mind."

"Can we talk about last night?" He whispers.

"Some other time. I'm...not really ready right now."

James stays silent as Sophie and I vacate the shop, saying goodbye to Harry in the process. He looks absolutely livid with the outcome of today's game, and I don't blame him. I'm sure the fans that travelled down there are absolutely outraged. A seventeen hour round trip for that...

"Thanks for waiting for me girls!" June yells.

Sophie and I spin around and laugh simultaneously as June comes sprinting over towards us, her cream leather tote bag swinging around in the humid breeze. She playfully punches me on the arm and bursts our laughing.

"Sorry I just wanted to get away from...erm, thingy."

"James?" Sophie pipes up, "I thought you two were getting along?"

Yeah so did I. I thought we were getting on like a house on fire, and that we had really turned a corner. I thought we could seriously strike up a good friendship, and get away from all the bullshit about James fancying me. But no. He had to come to my flat. I had to let him in. I had to go and hug him. I had to let him into my bedroom, and sit on my bed with me, and he had to finish it off perfectly by kissing me.

'Perfectly' being used loosely.

"He kissed me last night." I blurt out, "He came over to my flat and we spoke about the whole situation with Anna. Then we somehow managed to get in my bedroom and then he just kissed me, and I didn't want to be left alone in the flat so I asked him to stay and...we ended up spooning in my bed."

As we walk along the dark streets of Sunderland, I notice the immediate silence and glance at both Sophie and June. I can't tell whether they looked shocked or absolutely disgusted.

"Well...that was a great conversation killer." June laughs, "Nice one Vienna!"

"What about Henry?" Sophie asks, "Does he know about this?"

I can't keep this in anymore, why on earth should I? I've told James so I might as well tell the girls. Fuck it.

"I've not told him. I don't plan on telling him, or speaking to him ever again. I'm sure he's too busy fucking yet another skank anyway."

"He cheated on you?!" June practically screams, causing a couple of people passing by to look at us oddly.

My hand rests against her mouth in an attempt to prevent her telling the whole of Sunderland about my prick of an ex boyfriend, "Shut the fuck up June!"

The three of us burst out into fits of laughter, pushing and shoving each other in all directions as we reach the main road. Sophie immediately starts scanning the mass of cars passing us by to find a vacant taxi, and I briefly explain to June about my new roommate.

"Oh wow!" She scoffs, "Glad to know I was your first choice."

"Sorry mate, just assumed cause you've got flatmates." I apologise, "I didn't think."

"Nah I get you. It's cool. Do you need some help? I've got nothing planned tonight..."

I begin thanking June rapidly, and practically jump on her as excitement washes over my body. To be honest I'm more relieved that we have more bodies to shift Sophie's stuff. I don't imagine she travels light and I can't be dealing with numerous taxi trips to her flat and back to mine.


"Look Soph, you're a cool girl..." June begins, as we step into our friends flat, "But this is a shithole."

"I know. Fuck I can't wait to get out of here."

Sophie strolls straight into what appears to be her bedroom, and leaves June and I to take in the rest of this...'wonderful' home of hers.

"You got mail Soph." June yells, walking past me towards the front door, "Want me to bring it to you?"


"This is from the stadium..." June informs me, her voice quiet enough so that only I can hear, "Ooh, shall I open it?"

"June you can't! Here I'll give it to her." I snap the envelope away from her grasp.

As I'm walking to Sophie's bedroom, I can't help but think what's in the envelope. I'm guessing it's just confirmation of the Janoskians taking over from Ellis, or something to do with the incident with Anna. If she's coming back I swear to God.

That's it.

I'll leave.

I hand Sophie the letter and she doesn't hesitate to tear the envelope open, and I hover in the doorway just to see her reaction. I feel June walk up behind me, and we both stare at our friend - eagerly waiting the revelation to the contents of the letter.

"No. Fucking. Way." She squeals, "We've all been invited to a ball!"

Hallejah. Anna's not coming back.

"With the club?...Why?" June questions.

"We would like to invite you along to officially meet your new owners, and so we can finally introduce ourselves as the new owners of Sunderland Association Football Club." Sophie reads a line from the glittered piece of card in her hands.

Wow. Pretty ironic seeing as they didn't want the media to make such a fuss over them, yet the Janoskians have organised this lavish evening for all the players, sponsors, apprentices and all the staff to meet them. Nice one lads. Smooth.

"The media will be absolutely swarming the stadium." Sophie laughs, "Oh's at the Academy..."

To be honest I don't know a hell of a lot about the Academy of Light. All I know is that the players go there to train, and I think it's where the youngsters are trained too. Why they want to host this 'ball' there I will never know.

"When is it?" I ask.

"Tuesday night."

"Why do they have to have it straight after work?!" June groans, "I'll be absolutely exhausted!"

"Well at least you're not going to turn up smelling of chip fat and cheeseburgers." I joke, "But hey, there is one plus side to this."

I lightly chuckle to myself as both girls stare at me in confusion.

"We get to see the footballers in none of you get to complain, okay?!"

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