As we prepared for the season I was adamant that our target should be stability in the division, but once we had picked up a few special looking players I began to hope that there might be something more in store. It didn't seem that way for much of the first third of the season, but once Raymond Auassar started firing and we stopped leaking goals at the back we began to quickly rise up the table. A run of ten wins in twelve games took us right up to 2nd in the table, but then potential disaster struck.
Despite the club being in quite a healthy financial position, the board decided to sell Auassar (11 goals in his previous 13 games) and my best centre back, Graeme Hastie, for a combined total of £5.6M. It seemed short sighted to me as we'd lose out on more than that by missing promotion, but despite a small wobble which saw us drop to the bottom of the play-off zone, we managed to stay in the fight all the way to the end of the season. A run of four wins had even propelled us into second place again with two games left, but a draw against Bristol City and defeat against Leicester saw us drop back to third. Sheffield United were dispatched 3-2 on aggregate in the play-off semi final before we faced Wigan at Wembley and came away with a win which few were expecting.
League Positions Graph
After last year's excursion to Wembley, it was a disappointing year in the cups, having beaten Oxford and Middlesbrough in the first two rounds, we succumbed 3-2 to Premier League Newcastle in round three, a defeat for which my young goalkeeper, Giovanni Pasini, was unfairly blamed.
I hate Ipswich. Having doinked us 6-2 on the opening day of the season and then beaten us 1-0 on our own patch in the league, they turned up at Park Lane in the 4th round of the FA Cup and duly dicked us 4-1. I hate Ipswich.
A transfer profit of £5M came in over the course of the season, which can entirely be put down to the sales of Auassar and Hastie (although I did spend £1.7M on Spaniards after those two had left the club). We also lost prize young talent Sam Mills to Arsenal for £1.1M, whilst the best money spent (once Auassar had left the club) was the £750K it took to part Pasini from Fiorentina.
Early in the season the media were on something of a witch hunt against my new young Italian 'keeper, Giovanni Pasini, but once the lad had settled in and learned a bit of English he performed superbly well and I have every confidence that he can step up to Premier League level. Alongside him in defence was Jamie Murphy, who has frankly ridiculous stats for a seventeen year old, and for that reason I doubt that it'll take more than I have at my disposal to part him from Birmingham on a permanent basis.
John Bostock continued his rise up the leagues with us since returning to English football from the Welsh Wastelands, 14 assists from the central midfielder was an excellent contribution. And once Auassar had left in January, Sam Vokes and Patrick Marongiou formed a formidable partnership up front. Like Murphy, I think we'll struggle to get Marongiou back at the club next season; Juventus will want to make more of him.
The hardest yet, surely. Survival in any shape or form will be a massive success.
Season League Final Pos. Achievements
2010/11 Blue Square North 5th Lost in play-off semi final
2011/12 Blue Square North 12th Sacked 11 games into the season
2012/13 Blue Square South 10th None
2013/14 Blue Square South 4th Promoted via play-offs
2014/15 Blue Square Premier 3rd Promoted via play-offs
2015/16 League 2 8th None
2016/17 League 2 3rd Automatic Promotion
2017/18 League 1 4th Promoted via play-offs
2018/19 Championship 12th League Cup Finalists
2019/20 Championship 3rd Promoted via play-offs
Canvey Island 100 Club
Name (Position) League Games (Overall Games); League Goals (Overall Goals); Average Rating
(Dates at club)
James Foster (ST) 215 (260); 118(135); 7.12
Jeet Padaruth (GK) 213 (243); 76 (89); 6.96
Matthew Darlow (DC) 194 (232); 16 (20); 6.86
Kostas Tsioukas (DC) 188 (223); 27 (30); 7.14
Mark Hartmann (MC) 183 (217); 20 (31); 6.91
John Bostock (AMC) 148 (175); 16 (24); 7.08
Iain Blackman (AMLC/FC) 137 (164); 31 (39); 7.09
Theo Angus (DL) 125 (150); 0 (2); 6.87
Joseph Owusu Tabiri (DR, MRC) 105 (130); 3 (4); 6.91
Kyle Wilson (ST) 103 (120); 36 (44); 6.96
Ismail Yakubu (DC) 102 (113); 4 (4); 7.09