We’re in the National League, which is the highest division in the semi-professional game. If we can go up from here, we’ll be a professional Football League outfit! But before we get carried away with that idea, we have to face a division filled with a good few professional sides that have been relegated over the years and the very best of the non-league…
These were the agreed expectations with the board, which I feel are very achievable. I didn’t bother taking higher as we are already way under our wage budget and it didn’t alter our transfer budget either.
Willbye-McKenzie (AKA Mouthfull!) signed as a right winger with the potential to be a key first teamer. Wells is a backup,backup,backup to the backup GK. Clough is our record signing, a DM, who became obsolete as a first choice just a few months after signing – you’ll find out why soon. King will go straight into the starting 11 as a replacement for the slowly fading Idemudia, and Rowe is our new attacking CM. Diallo becomes our third choice striker.
Porter was here at the start, and as he wasn’t costing us anything on a non-contract, I kept him around in case we were desperate for a keeper. Mitchell-Brown and Allen need game time that they weren’t going to get here so when loan offers came in, out they went.
We’d have to play very well to even reach the playoffs, so let’s take a look at how we did!
We had a very good season. Lots of points missed through stalemates but not many dropped through losses. Question is, was it enough?
And the answer is… Just about! We won the league on Goals Scored after equalling Mansfield on both points and goal difference! WE’RE GOING TO THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE!
A run to the third round was better than expected, and again was a welcome boost to our finances, with an away tie at a Premier League club. We lost, but we knew we had zero chance of getting anything here.
With us winning the league this would be our last chance (unless relegated) that we’d have to win this one… Not that we knew it at the time of course!
And win it we did! We had quite a few attempts at this one but it took until our 5th season in this competition for us to get our name on the trophy!
(click to enlarge)
Scott King topped the awards for the season, despite only playing 24 games, he scored 23 goals. Idemudia was the league and club top scorer, despite not really playing much at all from the new year onward.
I know what you’re expecting. Another sarky comment about how our youth system has produced nothing again… and you’d be
This season I got the email as usual. I saw that Luke Beale was picked out as the best player. As always, I clicked his name first. Unlike always, I leapt out of my seat, and a few expletive filled shouts of celebration left my lips! And why not… He looks f*****g awesome! He went straight into the first team, with the same current ability star rating as record signing Peter Clough, but far younger and FAR more potential, and generally better rounded attribute-wise. Only a few weeks later, disaster looked to strike. After rejecting several Premier League club bids, West Ham and Everton had bids accepted over my head by the chairman. I was livid. We had just produced a genuinely class player and the board were going to let him go for a lousy £170k. A week later, this happened. I’ve never been so relieved!
We’ll turn professional, and we’ll need to do some serious rebuilding. We still have many of the original squad on the books and it’s reached a point where most of them won’t develop any further to stay even as backup players anymore, so their contracts won’t be renewed, which means there’ll be a lot of new faces coming in. How quickly we identify these players, and get them settled in, will be key in deciding our fate next season. Literally anything between and including promotion and relegation is possible…