Monday, 17 August 2009

Blue Square Premier 2011/12 - Season 3

So after having lost in injury time of extra time in the playoff final last season, the goal this season was to win promotion to the football league.

At the start of the season the board gave me a new contract, in which they wanted a midtable position, and were going to give me £55K to do worse than last season.

Finally with some money I could go and attempt to sign the promising youngsters my scouts keep on finding, though first I brought in several players on free's to bolster my squad depth - Welsh International Centre-Back Ashley Williams (Swansea), Defensive Midfielder Sam Togwell, NIrish Striker Billy Kee and Italian born English Right Winger Piero Mingoia were to be key players this season, whilst right back Lee Cooper and Keeper Mitch Walker would provide cover.

I also raided Man Utd for some quality loanes, though only Midfielder Adie Chadwick and Striker Petrucci played a major part in the season, the rest used to cover injuries or for the bench.

On the wayout of the club was flop striker Higginbotham who joined Cambridge for £18K making a profit at least, and in January Irish Side Cork City offered crazy money for midfielder Jonny Rowell (x10 his value) and with him failing down the pecking order in the middle of the pitch I gladly took Cork's money.

The season didn't get off to the best of starts, as my squad decided to embark on several cup runs, which resulted in a lot of my league games being postponed.

The first cup they decided to put some effort into was the FA Cup - in the Qual. round we smashed Whitby 3-1 to set up a 1st round tie against Grimsby who were top of League Two - somehow against the run of play we took the lead, with Grimsby needing a injury time penalty to stop us claiming an unlikely victory, with the replay at home we smashed Grimsby 3-1 though giving them another penalty. With the press somehow thinking we could win the FA Cup?

The 2nd round saw us drawn away to League Two Darlington where came back from a goal down twice to claim a 2-2 draw, and we again claimed a win in the replay thanks to an early and late goal from Captain Kyle Wilson that would set up a money spinning Third Round tie against Premiership Everton.

Somehow we managed to claim a 0-0 draw at home without even being in the game, though we did end up losing the replay 3-1, we did on the plus side make nearly £1m profit from the two games, allowing me to upgrade both the training and youth facilites next season.

Our next cup run was in the Setanta Shield, where upon making it to the Final we were informed the final would be played at our opponents ground - title rivals Oxford? But even with home advantage Oxford were no match for us and we claimed our first Cup with a 2-1 win.

Our final cup run was in the FA Trophy where we easily beat Workington, Bath, Kidderminster and Burton without conceeding, before drawing to and beating York in the Semi-Final, setting up a final against current holders Chester, who we easily beat 3-1 in an empty Wembley to claim our second cup of the season.

One consquence of our cup runs was in the league, was our games were being postponed left, right and centre - this meant by Feb we dropped out of the playoffs due to being upto 4 games behind.

By Game 38 we had finally caught upto Title rivals Oxford and with a 4-1 win over them we moved to the top of the league by Goal Difference, and still with a game in hand. And in the end we claimed the title and promotion with a game to spare, beating bottom side St. Albans whilst Oxford fell to Chester.

Final Table - we finish with the best defence and as Top Scorers, whilst poor old Oxford lost in the playoffs :)

League Pos Graph - Slumps were down to the fact that I didn't play, but by the time we actually played our games in hand we easily stormed to the title.

Squad - Keeper Jameson was a rock at the back, whilst new leftback Troy Gibbons will push Neil Swift hard for the leftback spot. In centre midfield Sam Togwell and Adie Chadwick struck up a mean partnership. Upfront Davide Petrucci was again on fire, though he spent far too much of the season out injured, luckily I actually have some competition upfront with new signings Billy Kee and Francis Ward getting among the goals.

Best XI and Overall XI

CLub Info, Facts and Stats.

Snapshot - 65 games we played this season.

Manager Profile - Attributes slowly climbing, whilst our FA Cup run boosted my rep upto Regional. Manager Info.

Season Summary - Sees FC United again marked as Overachievers, whilst Billy Kee wins signing of the season and ex-player Higginbotham was the worst signing of the season :)

Though I'm glad I got out of the BSP as next season there will be Tycoon sides - Merthyr and Hayes were both taken over and won promtion, whilst the third side Cambridge City were taken over from someone from the USSR(!) but got relagated :)

Whilst Englands Euro2012 campaign didn't go well, narrowly going out in the group of death, with Spain then beating France in the final.

Career Overview


2009/10Blue Square North1stPromoted - Champions
2010/11Blue Square Prem5thPlayoff Final
2011/12Blue Square Prem1stPromoted - Champions