I was reminded of Robbie Savage’s exit from Blues when I read about David Cotterill’s arrival in the Mail. Their article1 said “a desire to move closer to his Cardiff base and play for a big city club, in the second tier, persuaded him to come to Blues.” It seems that the Welsh like to be near home and Cardiff is nearer to Birmingham than Doncaster.
Cotterill is one of several to sign contracts for Birmingham City this week. I now have nine arrivals listed on my Cheat sheet2. Only one of those, Grant Hall, is a loan player and he is on a season long loan with no recall option; I hope this will mean a more settled team than last season. There are also two young players who have signed new contracts, James Fry and Will Packwood, and four who have been given their first professional contracts. It’s good to know that when pre season training starts, there will be some players to train.
A comment on my last post, about Ricky Otto, led me to do a Google search on him. He is included in an article3 on footballers who have overcome humble beginnings. He certainly had a very bad start and served time in prison but when he retired from football he became a probation officer. I also found a post4 about him on Often Partisan, which includes a long video interview with him. I found the part about the pressure of being Birmingham City’s record signing particularly interesting (starts at 39 minutes).
Otto managed to change from a criminal to a professional footballer and then moved from football to the probation service. He set up a company, Living Xperience Consultancy, to help people change and on its website5 it says: “We believe at LXC that everybody has the ability to change.” I believe that too and think that Ricky Otto today is a better person than he was when he played for us.