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Authors: Theo Walcott

T.J. and the Cup Run

BOOK: T.J. and the Cup Run
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Contents

Cover

About the Book

Title Page

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

A Note from Theo

About the Author

Also by Theo Walcott

Copyright

About the Book

TJ and his friends get a terrible shock when their old teacher, Mr Potter, returns from illness to take over from Mr Wood as PE teacher at Parkview School.

Worse still, they are about to play in the semifinal of the Cup, and Mr Potter’s really bad tactics nearly lose them the match.

With everything they’ve trained for hanging in the balance, can TJ and his friends turn things around and win?

Also available from the Arsenal and England football star:

For fun, games, competitions & more, visit:
www.theowalcottbooks.co.uk

FOR SEBASTIAN AND AURORA

S
QUAD
S
HEET

TJ
: A skilful forward with an outstanding turn of speed. He has an incredibly powerful shot, and he’s good in the air too.

Tulsi
: A strong, powerful striker. When she has the ball at her feet all she thinks about is scoring!

Rodrigo
: He’s from Portugal and he doesn’t speak much English, but he’s a wizard with a football in midfield or defence.

Rafi
: A midfielder who never stops running and tackling. His mazy runs are legendary and he always brings a ball to school!

Leila
: An excellent tackler and a natural holding midfielder.

Tommy
: When he’s not skateboarding he’s a fearsome tackler in Parkview’s defence.

Jamie
: Jamie is big, strong, fit – and the team’s keeper. He’ll stop anything heading towards him!

Danny
: He’s not popular, but he’s a terrific defender and Parkview can’t do without him.

Ariyan
: He can play anywhere and do a good job for the team. A really useful squad member.

Rob
: Rob can read the game and set up clever moves from the midfield. But can he control his nerves when he’s out on the pitch?

Ebony
: Ebony has pace and a killer instinct for scoring goals. She’s fighting hard for a first-team place as a striker.

C
HAPTER
1

‘I THINK THE
manager should take Marshall off,’ said Rob. ‘He’s never going to get past that full back.’

On the TV screen the Wanderers midfielder, Paco Sanchez, struck a pass towards the corner flag. Marshall Jones, the Wanderers attacker, sprinted after the ball, but the Inter Milan defender was too quick for him. The defender even had time to control the ball and play a pass down the line to set up another Milan attack.

‘You see?’ said Rob.

‘It’s a recording,’ TJ pointed out. ‘You
already
know what happens. Wanderers lose.’

‘Marshall’s not properly fit,’ said Rob, shaking his head. ‘It takes a long time to get your match fitness back after a serious injury like his.’

The others nodded glumly. ‘I don’t know why you’re making us watch this again,’ Tulsi complained.

‘Because of this,’ Rob said, pointing at the screen. ‘Milan’s right back is far slower than their left back. Marshall would have had a chance against him. I think the manager should have moved Marshall to the left wing and played Dexter Gordon on the right.’

Dexter Gordon was only seventeen. TJ and his friends had seen him come on as a substitute the first time they had been to see Wanderers play, and he had been amazing.

On the screen the Milan full back beat Marshall to the ball yet again, and set up a series of passes that ended with Milan’s goal.

Jamie groaned. ‘I’m not watching any more of this,’ he said, grabbing the remote control from Rob and switching the DVD off. ‘Let’s play Fifa. This rain is never going to stop.’

It was a Saturday morning, and they should have been playing in the park, but the rain had started falling just as they’d all arrived at TJ’s house. TJ switched on the Playstation. As usual, Rob beat everyone. ‘I don’t know how you do it,’ Jamie said ruefully after Rob had thrashed his Arsenal team 7–0. ‘I’ve got much better players than you. But you do things I’d never think of. I can’t believe Norwich City just beat me.’

‘You don’t really use the full power of the game,’ said Rob seriously. ‘You could—’

‘OK, OK,’ Jamie interrupted. ‘You’re a genius. I admit it.’

‘It’s stopped raining,’ Rafi said. ‘Come on, let’s go.’

‘It’ll be wet,’ said Tulsi.

‘Who cares,’ replied Rafi, who hated sitting still. ‘Anything’s better than being stuck inside.’

Rob took his DVD from the machine and put it carefully into the wallet that contained his collection of recordings of football matches.

‘How many of those have you got?’ asked TJ.

‘Thirty-seven,’ replied Rob. ‘But this is the most important one, because Wanderers still have a chance to put things right. They play Inter Milan again in the last match of the Group Stage. The Group Stage is like a little league where all four teams have to play each other twice. The top two teams in each group go through to the knockout stage and—’

‘Rob!’ said Tulsi. ‘We know all that.’

‘Oh, right,’ said Rob. ‘Well anyway, they play Inter Milan again the week after next.’

‘Just after my birthday,’ said Jamie. ‘I wonder . . .’

‘I’m going to talk to Mr Wood,’ continued Rob. ‘Then he can talk to Marshall and maybe Marshall can talk to the manager. I mean, I think I should mention it, just in case they haven’t already thought of it.’

Mr Wood was their teacher and ace football coach. He had been teaching Year Six since the beginning of term, when TJ had started at Parkview School. Before he became a teacher Mr Wood had been a promising young footballer at Wanderers – until he was forced out of the game by a serious injury. And he was still a good friend of Marshall Jones. While Marshall had been recovering from his recent injury he had actually visited their school several times.

Jamie laughed. ‘It’ll never happen,’ he
said
. ‘I bet people give Marshall advice all the time. My dad definitely would if he had the chance.’

‘Well,’ said Rob seriously, ‘I think I’ll talk to Mr Wood anyway.’ But on Monday morning something happened that made Rob forget all about his plan. As soon as they arrived in class they could all tell that something was wrong. ‘Sit down, everyone,’ Mr Wood said. ‘I have some news for you. As from next week your regular teacher will be returning. Mr Potter has recovered from his illness, and he’s ready to come back.’

There was a stunned silence. Then Tulsi said, ‘But you’re our teacher now, Mr Wood.’

‘I’m afraid I’m only actually a temporary teacher,’ Mr Wood explained. ‘I know it doesn’t seem that way, because Mr Potter has been ill for such a long time, but it’s true.’

‘What will you do then, Mr Wood?’ asked
Jamie
. ‘I mean, which class are you going to teach now?’

‘Don’t you understand, Jamie?’ Tulsi said. ‘He’s leaving.’

Jamie stared for a moment, as the news sank in. ‘But what about the team?’ he said.

‘Mr Potter will be taking over,’ Mr Wood said. ‘Mr Burrows tells me he’s a PE specialist.’

Tulsi gave a hollow laugh. ‘He makes kids play silly games in the hall,’ she said. ‘But he doesn’t know a thing about—’

‘Enough!’ said Mr Wood. ‘Mr Potter will be your teacher and you’ll treat him with respect. You don’t need to worry about the team. All you have to do is remember the things you’ve learned and you’ll be fine.’

At break time TJ asked his friends about Mr Potter.

BOOK: T.J. and the Cup Run
12.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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