Thursday, 6 August 2009

Blue Square Premier 2010/11 - Season 2

So with last seasons unexpected promotion from the BSN, the first task was for me to reinforce my team with player that wouldn't get me relagated back to the BSN.

Helpfully the board gave me £8K to spend on players, not that I could spend a penny of it, as anyone still at a club wasn't interested in playing for FC Utd, I couldn't even attract anyone on loan apart from Man Utd youngsters.

In the end I managed to bring 6 players in onloan and sign 6 players on frees.

The new players I brought in ensured we could compete in the BSP, in the end we spent most of the season comfortably in the top half, occassionaly dipping into the playoffs, but never enough to mount a title challenge - being up against 16 professional teams in the BSP didn't help things.

But somehow with some tactical tweaks and a gelled team we managed to poach the last playoff spot from Chester on Goal Difference with three games left - which resulted in a rather nervy last week of the season (the last three games were played within a space of a week) where both us and Chester won our last three games - but we claimed the playoff spot by three goals.

The playoffs drew us against Pro side York, where goals from Man Utd youngsters Evans and Petrucci set up a 2-0 first leg win, whilst York felt the need to cheat in the second leg using it as a fan day! but despite us controlling the entire game York claimed a 1-0 win, but it wasn't enough and would see us through to the final to face Wrexham who were the medias favs for the title at the beginning of the season.

The Playoff Final got off to a good start with Wrexham's Keeper smashing the ball into Petrucci which then bounced into the net to open the scoring, Wrexham then quickly equalised and gained the upper hand, but we held out for the 90 minutes and the game went to extra-time where again we held out until the 123rd minute when Striker Petrucci was injured and I was reduced to 10men, and a minute later the game was over as Wrexham's centre-back somehow found himself one-on-one with my Keeper and finished like a Premiership Striker making it 2-1 to Wrexham and ending our unlikely hopes of promotion :(

The after match report hardly made the game out to be a classic.

Final Table and Pos screen - we were never in a title fight but neither were we in a relagation fight.

Squad - Both my Keepers Jameson and Jones are about the same level, with Jameson just getting the nod in the second half of the season.

Defence saw a change in personnel during the season, with right back Simon Spender the only one who started and ended the season as first choice, young left back Neil Swift had a solid season and managed to dislodge first choice Skidmore in the second half of the season. In the centre of defence new signing Kevin Roberts started off first choice but lost his place to two youngsters I signed through the season Lewis Dunk and Billy Cook, who despite their young age were rocks at the back. Whilst Academy player Danny Perkins provided cover at right back.

In midfield new signing Jonny Rowell partnered Corry Evans who returned for a second season loan from Man Utd, I also employed two Man Utd youngsters on the Wing Magnus Eikrem and Daniel Galbraith, whilst James Beeston was brought in to provide cover.

Upfront Kyle Wilson again held the line, forming an impressive partnership with young Italian Striker Davide Petrucci, whilst new signing Kallum Higginbotham failed to impress, which left us struggling when Wilson or Petrucci were tired or injured. Though Academy Striker Danny Short provided an assist and claimed Man of the Match in his only appearance of the season, and I may end up giving him a chance next season if I cannot sign anyone.

Whilst several of my players took the BSP charts by storm, with Petrucci ending up top Scorer and had the highest Rating.

Best XI - pretty much correct again, anyone know what that Score bit means?

Overall XI - sees Dunk, Eikrem, Rowell and Petrucci join the list.

Club Info - sees no real change, whilst I fail to claim a single fact and club stats - Striker Higginbotham is a better tackler than scorer.

Snapshot - the FA Cup saw my first team smashed 3-1 by BSN side Hyde, whilst Broadbent who I had on loan last season knocked me out of the Conference Cup, whilst the FA Trophy saw us fight back from 2-0 down just to lose 3-2 after the game should have finished in another error prone match.

I also played my 100th game as manager of FC Utd, a 3-0 win over Woking.

Season Summary saw us named Overachievers again, whilst Rowell was runner-up in signing of the season.

Profile - my reps still unproven, but the stats have started climbing, whilst I picked up some more random knowledge of the world.

And finally our finances are doing well, shame the board won't improve the facilities at all.

So the plan for next season is to try and get promoted, so for that I'll need to sign a quality striker and try and fill the gaps left by loan players - mainly cover for the wingers and fullbacks.

Whilst Man City continue to splash the money £108m for a 4th place finish and the UEFA Cup :)

Career Overview

2009/10 Blue Square North 1st Promoted - Champions
2010/11 Blue Square Prem 5th