Thursday, 18 March 2010

League Two 2016/17 – Season 8

So after losing in the playoffs in the last two seasons, I was running out of chances to gain promotion, luckily the board weren't bothered and offered me a new three year contract with the expectation of promotion again.

One initial problem I had this season was the fact that most of the teams contracts were due to expire at the end of the season and nearly everyone wanted £1K-£2K wages p/w and to be a key player - which would bankrupt us and cause the squad harmony to plumment (if it could that was).

Whilst I was busy trying to sign my players onto new contacts without going bankrupt, my chairman dealt us another blow by selling my vice-captain and possibly best player John Simpson to Bolton for £425K :( (at least he included a sell on clause, so we gained another ~£300K when bolton sold him for to Birmingham for £3m at the end of the season)

Transfers out also saw the sale of several other squad players who wanted too much money to stay at the club, though this did leave me rather under strength - I brought in defenders Holsgrove and Dootson to provided some cover in defence, the rest of my signings were promising youngsters for the future - with young Welsh Striker Derek Bowes looking promising, whilst midfielder Carl Day arrived due to my reputation turning down Championship sides Soton and Ipswich.

We were further fit later on in the season when my star defender David Robertson randomly demanded a transfer :(

Even with all our off the pitch problems (squad harmony again hit the bottom with players demanding first team football regardless of whether they were playing or not - it finally went at the end of the season when I got down to one unhappy player, seems more than one unhappy player triggers a revolt) we finally clicked on the pitch and were living upto our potential even embarking on an FA Cup run.

We overcame local rivals Oldham 2-1 in the first round, setting up a Second Round tie away to Sheff Wed, where I was quite happy to just take home the gate reciepts, but with Wednesday reduced to 10men just after half-time we sniffed blood and Christie managed to bring us level after 70mins, before Young Welsh Striker Jay White scored an unlikely winner in the last minute after just coming on.

This set up a Third round tie at home to fierce rivals Premiership Leeds and saw Leeds hand us a famous cupshock, after they were reduced to 9 men before half-time, my second string took full advantage (I was fully expecting to be hammered) winning 2-0!!!

This then set up a Fourth Round tie at home to Man City our other rivals (we have now taken on Liverpool, Leeds and Man City, just Chelsea left from our rivals to play), however they'd be no fairy tale ending money bags Man City proved too strong for us we survived until just after the half-hour when three goals in nine minutes ended the tie.

On the plus side the money from the cup run boosted our finances (and hopefully means my chairman wont sell anymore players) the slight disadvantage was it caused several league games to be postponed - this allowed Burnley to catch us up at the top of the league, but we had two games in hand - they'd managed to wipe out the six point lead we obtained over Christmas by beating title rivals Burnley and Oxford.

Me and Burnley quickly pulled away from everyone else and we claimed a playoff spot after 38 games, claiming an automatic promotion spot after our next game - Burnley were doing their best to keep pace with us and were only six points behind but we still had a game in hand.

We finally claimed the title after 42 games, and claimed the title with a record breaking 99 points, in the end the league proved too easy this season, we were top for pretty the whole season, with me claiming Manager of the Year.

Squad - player stars updated at the end of the season for League One.

Pedro was again a rock in goal, with Ryan Dawson again rotating with him.

In defence Jai Gray pretty much owned the rightback spot, on the left Ross Birch was also a rock, with new signing Graham Holsgrove providing cover.

In the centre of defence David Robertson was outstanding and I really don't want to lose him, partnering him was Timothy van der Meuelen, though new signing George Dootson is pushing for his place.

On the right wing Jose Manuel Ramos and Tamer Ross continued to rotate, as both aren't very fit, though Ramos demanding a transfer at the end of the season isn't helping. On the left Colin Coleman is my only left winger, so him spending half the season injured didn't help and saw me bring several players in on loan.

In the middle of the field, the loss of John Simpson gave Peter Tanner and Tom Ruddy a chance to impress, not that either them cemented their place in the first XI, it was left to Steve Patterson to control the midfield with young Spanish Midifielder Carlos Soria providing cover - I now have 14 players who can play MC so its not like I'm short of options, has anyone else noticed that there seems to be loads of DM,MC players?

Upfront Sendoa and Steve Ellison continued their fine partnership, with Ellison becoming only the second player to score 25 goals in a season for FC Utd. Providing cover was Scottish Striker Craig Christie.

Best XI

Snapshot - Carling Cup and Paint Trophy didn't go well, and I hope the board give me some money next season or at least increase the wage budget otherwise we'll be coming straight back down again.

Manager Profile and Club Infomation

A rather interesting thing I came across this season, was the appearance of a random Dutch gray player in my U18's?

So the plan for next season is to not come straight back down now I've won League Two I have no desire to be in their again, I've also got to try and keep hold of my players with Gray, Robertson and Ramos all demanding transfers, not sure what trophys they'll win at struggling Championship sides?

Career Overview
2009/10 Blue Square North1stPromoted - Champions
2010/11Blue Square Prem5thPlayoff Final
2011/12Blue Square Prem1stPromoted - Champions
2012/13League Two2ndPromoted
2013/14League One24thRelegated
2014/15League Two6th
2015/16League Two4th
2016/17League Two1stPromoted - Champions