This is our tenth season, and we’ve come much further than I anticipated in that time. From the twelfth tier to the third. It’s been an incredible journey, and one that has still really only just begun.
- Avoid Relegation from League One
- Reach the FA Cup Third Round
- Reach EFL Cup First Round
- Qualify from EFL Trophy Group Stage
If we were going to even achieve the minimum of staying up this season we needed to strengthen. And I was extremely happy with my signings this season. To be honest I’m surprised we actually managed to sign many of these guys.
van Dijk is a right back, released by Groningen
Baldvinsson is a solid centreback released by Ljungskile
Higgins is a very good AMR/ST released by Wolves
Abdulkareem is a Qatar national left back from Al-Sadd
Smith was released by Man City, a talented AML
Reid was released by Bristol City. MC/AMC
Benaraibi is a backup MC released by Creteil
Cordier is a future star. Was on an amateur contract at Louhans
Cutlan has been on our radar for years. Our new No1
Hanna, Gaskell and Wells aren’t good enough for us any more. Tootle and Diallo are on their way out too, but no-one interested in a permanent deal, so I’ll let them run down their contracts on someone else’s payroll.
…And into The World’s Best Second Division™
Now this was almost as unexpected as our league campaign. A quarter final appearance, beating a Premier League side in QPR 3-0 away in the process, and a close-fought defeat against Newcastle in a game that was decided by a late winner.
We have gone some way to fixing last season’s goal drought, with Punter scoring 45 in all competitions, though we need more goals from other players too. I’m very happy with Smith’s contribution from the left wing too, not just with his assists but his overall effect on our play.
Anything more than survival is a bonus. We have a provisional budget of £2.3m so we can strengthen, but I have faith in our players to keep us up, especially the first eleven who are young and hungry with plenty of potential to grow further. The rest of the squad may need some work though. There will be upgrades to the youth and training facilities completed during the season too.