After last seasons playoff final defeat I'd need to pick my players up and see if we could grab an automatic promotion spot this season, as being in League Two is not helping my finances at all.
The board again were wanting promotion but weren't willing to give me any money or wages to do it, and our promotion hopes were not helped by my chairman selling my left back for £400K :( - Which is just wrong for FC Utd, the only thing that softens the blow is that it was 20 times his value and the money will keep the club out of the red for the season.
Other Transfers out saw me cull the squad as the wage bill needed reducing before I could sign anyone.
Transfers in wise we were relatively quiet - Ross Birch arrived to cover left back, Dutch Centre-Back van der Meulen was signed to bring in some experience, whilst in Jan my Assistant Manager recommended Trindad Striker Anthony Jeffrey who arrived for £100K - but he didn't have much of a chance to impress getting injured 20 minutes into his debut, he then got injured 18 minutes into his second appearance and 3 minutes into his third appearance :(
In the end injures would play their part in destroying our season - we got off to a bad start in the league, but some more tweaking of my tactics inspired my team as we quickly made our way up the table and into the playoffs, but our poor start left us to far behind the top times and as we reached december squad harmony randomly plummented - with the only problems being a couple of players wanting out but having to wait until Jan to actually move and other players being unhappy due to lack of squad harmony, but it didn't actually affect our on pitch form and we continued to try and chase down the top teams - which lead to more problems my players became overconfident due to our good form, and then the game started to hack down my attacking players, but despite our best efforts the top teams just wouldn't drop any points and we'd have to settle for 4th place and the lottery of the playoffs again.
The playoffs would draw us against league favourties Huddersfield and with several players missing due to injury and international duty (why are home nation youth international games played with the playoffs???) Huddersfield claimed a 2-1 first leg victory.
The Second Leg didn't go much better, an awful first half saw Huddersfield take a two goal lead, two late goals made it even on the night but we just couldn't find a third to force extra-time :(
Table - considering the start we had 4th place was a miracle, whilst yet again the team that poached a playoff spot on the last day claims promotion, with Huddersfield collasping in the second half of the season.
Squad - Keepers Dawson and Pedro continued to rotate, through Pedro chipped in with 5 assists and rather interestingly from the stats would either keep a clean sheet or conceed two goals.
In defence Jai Gray had a solid season at right back, whilst Academy player Gary Smith provided cover, on the left new signing Ross Birch made up for the loss of Artoumian.
In the centre of defence young Irish defender David Robertson was a rock and has the potential to be a quality player I just hope I can keep hold of him, and he struck up a fine partnership with new signing ex-Ajax youngster Timothy van der Meulen, who makes a nice change from my old defender Christophe not picking up a single booking. Providing cover was Mark Fitzpatrick, who did well but struggled to displace my first choice centrebacks.
In midfield Right Winger Jose Manuel Ramos's season was cut short by injury, but luckily Tamer Ross stepped in so he wasn't missed whilst on the left Colin Coleman got the nod with some fine form.
In the centre of midfield John Simpson and Steve Patterson continued their fine partnership.
Upfront saw Steve Ellison settle in following his £350K move from Merthyr last season and he ended up my top scorer forming a fine partnership with club captain Sendoa. Cover for these two is proving a problem new signing Jay White (signed from Merthyr for £6K) was the best of the rest, mainly because my other strikers were fairly injury prone - Scottish Striker Craig Christie, Irish Striker Danny Joyce and Trindad Striker Anthony Jeffrey all struggled to stay fit.
Snapshot - the Carling Cup and Paint Trohpy didn't go well, but the FA Cup went a lot better - we beat Grimsby and Macclesfield before making the trip to Anfield to play Liverpool in the Third Round, rather annoyingly the press expected us to beat them (due to being fierce rivals) we put up a good fight but Liverpool took there chances whilst we didn't and a 4-1 defeat was a little hard on us, but at least the money from that game kept us out of the red for another season.
Manager Profile - no real change, still getting linked in the press to ever championship job.
Club Info - again no change.
Club facts - still only got an average age of 20, mainly due to the fact that we can not compete wage wise with the other teams, and if we don't get promotion soon we will be in real problem as we aren't making any money at all.
Squad Harmony randomly hovering between Poor and Very Poor for no reason isn't helping.
I was cheered up by the fact that Merthyr finally won promotion to League Two only for their Chairman to withdraw his money leaving them bankrupt (and unable to sell players due to the silly wages they are on) Notts County also saw their funds withdrawn aswell which should level the field a little.
|2009/10||Blue Square North||1st||Promoted - Champions|
|2010/11||Blue Square Prem||5th||Playoff Final|
|2011/12||Blue Square Prem||1st||Promoted - Champions|