“The best thing about McDiarmid Park was the Blue Popcorn and Dotty Bars”.
Stevie Grieve. Tea drinking ma…wait a minute…
The summer holidays. Mug of tea in hand. Time for a new webisode (that’s a word right?) or our ‘popular’ Getting to Know You series. This time we’ve gone all out sports on you. We’re privileged to have professional footballer and maturer coach/analyst Stevie Grieve. No wait, we got that the wrong way round. We’ve got amateur footballer and professional coach/analyst Stevie Grieve.
Why is he a pro? Well plenty of that is answered below. 13 years of coaching, having worked in 4 countries and proud to be the “youngest head coach in Switzerland in the AVCF 4eme Ligue in 2012″ at the ripe old age of 25. Oh and did we tell you he has done tv punditry for TenSports as a top analyst. His pre-match notes are heavily annotated. His knowledge of tactics is second to none. We think we’re pretty good at Football Manager but we feel as though we’d get our butt kicked if we played Stevie!
Stevie has yet to confirm if his video diaries titled ‘Stevie’s Suits’ will ever see the light of day.
Now he’s off to Canada to join Burlington Soccer as Coach Development Manager. One things for sure though, he’ll be spreading the joy of good tea. Here’s 10 questions we put to him.
1. Hi Stevie. What’s 6 + 8?
It could be 68, it could be 14. Philosophically, what is the meaning of 6, or even 8? It’s a question i ask myself daily.
2. Fantastic. Clearly you’re a tea drinker and on the ball, so to speak (unless you answered that wrong in which case this interview is over you closet coffee drinker you!). Where do we find you in the world and are you drinking tea?
Im in Perth, Scotland today, but im moving to Burlington, Ontario, Canada on Tuesday. Yeah, im always drinking tea! I think i’ll have some Maple Leaf tea over there instead of my usual Scottish blend i have here.
3. We kind of already know the answer to this question but for the rest of our followers can you state what your favourite tea is?
Im a big fan of Corson vanilla tea from Mauritius. I had it on honeymoon there and wasn’t sure about it initially. It was kinda like when you have a big mouthful of Cola then before you swallow, you eat a Flump.
You know you weren’t sure if you liked it but you’ll do it again just to check.
I like it really dark, with a dribble of milk sometimes.
It tastes like sugary tea so if you’re on a diet its a good start. Its on ebay i think for about $5 for 25 bags.
4. As a man who travels between Scotland and India a fair few times, what’s best: Drinking tea in Scotland made with top quality soft Scottish water or simply drinking tea in the home of tea; India?
Oft, tough question! The water makes a huge difference, but if you offered me pure Indian tea in Scottish soft water, i’d go with that. Indian Tea is pretty much sugary milk, though.
5. Yourself and #teaclub M happen to support the same football team – St. Johnstone. Last time M was there the tea wasn’t all that bad. Where’s the best ground you’ve enjoyed a cup of tea?
We do! The best thing about McDiarmid Park was the Blue Popcorn and Dotty Bars. I dunno if they do them anymore though.
The tea was probably some cheap rubbish there and i wasn’t keen on it so i had Bovril (its rank), but i would say that i really liked the tea at the home stadium of Garhwal FC, Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.
Proper Delhi Chai, enough sugar to get rid of the water taste but not enough to give you diabetes.
6. Having seen your tweets and some clips of you on YouTube for Ten Sports, it’s fair to say you’re passionate about the game and in particular, the analysis side of things. Did you play at any level and if not, how did you get into the media as an analyst?
I didn’t play at a high level, and certainly not anything worth mentioning. Im not even sure if some levels of professional football even count towards being able to claim you “know” the game!
I played youth football and some amateur games until i was 18, but much preferred Futsal which i played from 15-21.
Futsal suits me more than 11v11 with a tactically incompetent coach and mostly clueless team mates making me chase long balls or not playing through midfield. I’m not a 2nd ball kinda guy, which isn’t good in Scottish amateur football.
I stopped playing as i didn’t enjoy playing football, and wanted to concentrate on coaching.
I’ve been a coach for 13 years, I’ve worked in 4 countries and was the youngest head coach in Switzerland in the AVCF 4eme Ligue in 2012 at 25.
Again, I was the youngest Head Coach in India at 27 in 2014 when i coached in the I-League 2.
I got into analysis from being bored and having 6 weeks to kill between moving from Scotland to Switzerland, so i wrote some analysis for World Class Coaching which was on Sergio Busquets. From there, it was made into an e-book, then i wrote some analysis pieces, then wrote a best selling book called Coaching the 4-2-3-1, then it snowballed.
When i moved to India, i was using analysis and studying to help educate myself to educate my coaches, then after i coached Garhwal in the I-League 2, i was asked to do a 4 show trial with TenSports by RK Sreenivasan.
From the 1st show, I was comfortable with the surroundings, the presenter’s questions and felt like i deserved to be there more than most people with the analysis things i could offer and opinions on players and teams, give context etc.
4 shows turned into the end of the season, then another, then another, then my own TV show!
7. Have you ever spilled a mug of tea in the studio?
Hahaha! Shhh… not inside but yeah, in the corridor.
Actually, the lassie from NDTV who was walking past and saw me drop it then looking guilty while trying to get a mop over it was in hysterics walking into her studio just before she had to do a live report on flooding.
8. We’ve an idea but just how big is tea drinking in India? What are the differences compared to our tradition of having a teabag in a mug?
Everyone drinks sugary Chai, in little 50 ml cups, which is pure sugar with a fair whack of spices etc in it. Its nice i like it but with much less sugar. They’ll have the water, spices and leafs boiling with milk and sugar all day, mixing it and pouring, while we have it fresh. I suppose everyone is different but while people would ask for a £2.50 Coffee here, they go to the Chai wallah and get 5 cups for 25p.
9. Last couple of questions now. If you could drink tea with anyone in the world, who would it be and where would this meeting take place? Kettle’s on Stevie. We’ve got chocolate digestives. Nudge nudge.
Aww man, just one? I’ll give 2. Can i? I have a large packet, and who eats a whole packet of biscuits even with a tag team partner? They’ll just go to waste so I’ll invite an extra person because a whole pack of chocolate digestives is alot for only 2 people. At least they’ll get finished.
I’d have my meeting in a tent in the highlands with Lucy Verasamy; the weather girl from ITV.
She’d know exactly when it was time to come out because she has weather reading superpowers.
A cup of tea in the rain in a tent would go down a treat. I like listening to rain.
I’d probably invite Rachel Riley aswell; you’d get battered at scrabble but at least you could play all day until you win while drinking tea. Imagine beating Rachel Riley and Lucy the weathergirl at Scrabble before going out for a game of Man Hunt in the highlands with a flask of tea?
10. A big of a challenge for you. Last year we came up with a Tea XI. 11 footballers with a tea themed name (e.g. David Teaman). Make a brew and give us your own Tea XI. We’ll compare it to ours and perhaps put it to a Twitter vote. No pressure now.
Jose Luis CHAIlavert (Paraguay GK)
Phillip Lahmbarrie (Nambarrie)
Nicolas OTEAmendi (Otamendi)
Paolo MalTEAni (Maldini)
Clarence CEYLONdorf (Seedorf)
Emmanuele PeTEALEAF (Manu Petit)
Emmanuel TETLEY (Tetteh ex Norwich)
Martyn WAGHBAKRIhorn (Waghorn)
Diego DILMAHradona (Maradona)
Olivier GirOOLONG (Giroud)
Antoine TEAzmann (Griezmann)
This is quite a strong team. Like how i like my tea. Strong.
Ed: Does it beat our completely different Tea XI?
Chairman: Roman Assamovic.
Cheers Stevie. Best wishes to yourself and your family in Canada.