Bradford Park Avenue
Let me make this clear right off the bat, I suck ass at lower league management. Don't get me wrong, I love the challenge and have wasted many an hour in pursuit of success from the bottom rungs of the ladder, but from lower really that League One, I've never taken a club into the top echelons of the game. That disclaimer out of the way, it's onto the challenge.
Blue Square North
The target was to simply avoid relegation, and so in that respect we were a great success, and indeed the board currently think the sun shines out of my ass, but I'm frustrated. For so much of the season we hung around the edges of the play-off zone and I really felt we could kick on and nip into the top 5. With 6 games to go, we had a run of 3 home games on the bounce and we were outside the play-offs only on goal difference. We lost those three games and that was the end of our challenge. I'd have bitten your hand off for 10th at the start of the season, but now it seems like a bitter disappointment.
Well this sucked ass. We were given a target of the 4th qualifying round but exited at the 2nd in a 2-0 defeat to Farsley which could have been a lot worse.
A bit better, we were expected to reach the first round and we went out in the 2nd having won a replay against Blue Square Premier side Altrincham; we really should have won the initial tie, but conceded a very late goal (the story of our season).
All freebies and loans, and the two that stand out as real good pieces of business were Justin Gentle from Stafford (who topped our assist chart) and Tesfaye Bramble from Leiston (who was our top scorer). Given our financial position, I'm expecting the wage budget to go down next season so this part of the game will be even harder.
Despite having a tackling rating of only '3', Amjad did a solid job for us in defence and led the side well as captain. Has been offered a contract extension, though I'm pretty certain that the BSN is the limit of his talent.
I'd like to claim credit for his signing, but it was already arranged when I joined the club. He may be one of the slowest wingers I've come across, but his crossing was accurate and key to the way we played the game. A good season, but I'm not sure if he has another one in his legs.
Plenty of experience of league football, Richard was our first choice right back all season and did a very good job. Didn't get beaten by opposition wingers very often and I'm hoping to get another year out of him yet.
A player I took entirely on my new scout's recommendation, Tesfaye ended up as our top scorer, so a good spot he turned out to be. We basically planted him just outside the six yard box in each game and got Justin Gentle to bounce crosses off his head, but it proved to be an effective combination. A similar year next season would be nice.
Season League Final Pos. Achievements
2010/11 Blue Square North 10th -
A younger, fitter, faster squad would be a start. We have too many players the wrong side of 35, let alone 30 and we must be the slowest group I've ever seen. Fitness also became more and more of a problem as the season went on as we lost at least 10 points by conceding goals in the final five minutes. Hopefully this can be rectified for next season, but given that the club is now almost £200,000 in the red, I don't hold out much hope of even being able to strengthen my squad with free transfers.