Hackney Wick FC are a semi-professional football club from Hackney, playing in the Essex Senior league (Step 9 of the football pyramid). Their nickname is ‘The Wickers’. Those of you who followed my career with The Wickers last season will recall that we began in the Middlesex Football League Division One (Central & East) which is at Step 12 of the pyramid. This three step jump in leagues is because at the end of the 2016/17 season, The Wickers merged with London Bari FC in the ESL, bringing with them the club name, some of the board and a few of the squad.
We’re home! We’re finally back in Hackney after nine years of ground-sharing around London with our own home, Kasanga Park, named after our founder, captain and now Director of Football Bobby Kasanga. We had an amazing first season in the Premier League last season and also in Europe. Can we improve on our 10th position? Will we be able to make a mark in the domestic cups without the distraction of Europe?
- Avoid Relegation
- Reach the FA Cup fifth round
- Reach the EFL Cup fourth round
We’ve turned professional now that we’re in the Football League so most of the players will be moved onto new full-time contracts so that we can train them more efficiently. Unfortunately we’ve now reached a point where many of the original Hackney Wick players just won’t cut it any more, and so there’ll be a fair amount of transfer activity this season to rebuild the squad for our new life as a pro club. To be honest we reached that point a long while ago with some of them but my attachment to them got in the way of making sound footballing decisions. Not any more…
I forgot to screenshot the email message with the expectations but they were:
- Avoid relegation from League Two
- Reach the FA Cup 1st Round
- Reach the EFL Cup 1st Round
- Reach the EFL Trophy Group Stage
These expectations are realistic. I’m not expecting to get anywhere in the EFL Cup/Trophy but I’m hopeful of a better finish in the League, and a Third Round appearance in the FA Cup would be good for the finances.
Season five, and we’re now at level 7. This is the last division outside the ‘playable divisions’ shipped with the base game
The expectations from the board were definitely realistic and achievable, so we could crack on knowing we didn’t have to push ourselves to perform miracles.
Less than two years ago, Hackney Wick FC didn’t exist. One man, ex semi-professional footballer Bobby Kasanga, formed the idea to create a football club while campaigning to get more recognition for non-league football, where he came across many disgruntled players on Hackney Marshes who complained about the long distances they had to travel in order to play football at a competitive level. Borne from his time in prison and shaped by the rehabilitation he received, he decided his club would be heavily involved in the community. He wanted to bring together the residents of Hackney, especially those marginalised by society and the disaffected youth with nothing to look up to other than the gangsters. Hackney, in times past was known as being a rough place, rife with gang warfare and high crime rates, though somewhat seen now as an up-and-coming trendy area. Of his prison experience he says: “It definitely helped. Before that, it was all about making money and my ego but I became more of a listener and, as I started helping other prisoners, I thought I could continue that on the outside.”
RasenBallsport Leipzig – The first five seasons
A Brief Club History
RasenBallsport Leipzig e. V., commonly known as RB Leipzig, is a German association football club based in Leipzig, Saxony. The club is supported by energy drink-maker Red Bull who purchased the license of fifth division side SSV Markranstädt with the intention of advancing the re-modeled club to the top-flight Bundesliga within ten years. RB Leipzig’s stadium is the Red Bull Arena. In their inaugural season, RB dominated the NOFV-Oberliga Süd (fifth division) in 2009–10 and as a result were promoted as champions to the Regionalliga Nord (fourth division) for the 2010–2011 season. In the 2012-13 campaign, RB won that league without conceding a defeat and was promoted to the 3. Liga (third division). And this is where I begin my career…
I’ll be honest here. Don’t expect novels on each season. This blog post is more about bringing you guys up to speed with where I am now, and briefly about how we got there.
2017/18 – Championship – End of Season Review
Since I’ve become manager, it has taken two seasons to get out of each division. This season, we’re in the toughest and most competitive second division in the world. Surely it would be impossible to go up at the first try… Wouldn’t it?
Sky Bet Championship (stats)
The Championship. Lots of very good, ex-Premier League teams in the mix, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Southampton in the division this year. We were supposed to be relegation candidates, and for the first third of the season it looked as though the prediction was right. We only managed one win in our first ten games and we looked like we were in crisis. One successful team meeting later and we picked up another win, and ended up with five wins and a draw in the next ten which brought us up towards mid-table. We had a patchy Christmas period, and started 2018 with a 1-0 reverse against Villa. Little were we to know that would be our last loss for eleven games! We were propelled up the table and into the play-off places! We were only a handful of points off the top, but equally, we were only a couple of points away from falling back into mid-table. Our last nine games included West Ham, Forest, and Birmingham, all away, and in a row. Not much was expected, but we managed five points from those games, and eleven from the others, which means we went into the final game needing a win just to maintain our play-off place, but if other results went our way, we could even win the title! We beat Brighton 5-0 away, which was by far our best win of the season and guaranteed our place in the play-offs, and it also ensured automatic promotion! Southampton won, which meant we couldn’t win the title, but that wasn’t important! We were going up!!!