Canvey Island FC - Season 2018/19 - Barclays Premiership
Made yet more additions to the squad, notably a very good keeper, a centre-mid and a couple of young centre-backs. Consequently we started slowly, with the Europa League as well causing havoc given that there are barely any players who have come through the youth team. We picked up our form in November and gradually began to claw back the gap between us and the top 6. By this point Man Utd (who would go on to lose just 2 matches - 1 to us) were running away with the league, already 10 points clear of Arsenal. After Christmas we went on a great run that saw us overhaul Liverpool, then Chelsea to go 4th. Going into the final two games of the season, we needed just one point to secure a Champions League place - the only issue was that we were away to Chelsea then home to champions United. Somehow, a smash and grab performance saw us come from 3-0 down to draw at Chelsea, before our reserves beat United 3-1.
Final position: 4th - Qualified for Champions League (Winners = Man Utd)
Some kind draws (include an 8-1 demolition of Wolves) saw us reach the semis of the FA Cup with relative ease, only to lose to Man United as a result of an unfortunate own goal. In the Carling Cup, we had an equally nice run to the semis, before putting out Fulham and comfortably beating Sunderland in the Final
FA Cup: lost in the Semi-Final to Man United (0-1)
League Cup: Winners beating Sunderland - (4-1)
Whilst our draws at home were nothing short of wonderful, FM fate evened it up, putting little Canvey Island in the group of death with Valencia, Napoli and Standard Liege (Valencia have one of the best attacks in the game at the moment). Our first two games, away to Napoli then Valencia, saw us somehow come away with narrow wins having taken our chances and held out well. We continued to win every other game in the group other than an inexplicable 0-0 draw with Standard Liege. Then things really got interesting...
In the first knockout round we were paired with Young Boys who were nothing compared even to Liege, and went down as easily as expected. Dinamo Moscow followed, but two early away goals meant that we could pick them off on the counter with minimal fuss. Saint Etienne pushed us closer in the Quarter Final, but we came away with yet another deserved victory, meaning that we were to face Roma in the semis. At this point, our Europa League squad consisted of just 16 players (having had to name 8 youth players). In the game against Saint Etienne, centre back Lamine Koné got injured for 3 months. In the week before the Roma game, our playmaker Carlos Miguel joined him (4 months), as did our centre back Keita (3 months) and right back Hoey (5 weeks).
First leg: We went 1-0 up thanks to a nice strike from Pelaez before their right winger twice cut through our youth team left back to put them 2-1 up. In the last 5 minutes I sent on a second striker who set one up before scoring with the last kick of the game to give us a priceless 3-2 advantage.
Second leg: The most unbelievable game I have ever played on FM. Another man went down to injury before the game, leaving us fielding just 10 first team players (2 of which were horribly out of position), and a youth team player. 3 minutes in and Della Marca had to be subbed off. We somehow took the lead from a header off a free-kick from captain N'Diaye... 4 minutes before the interval, our left winger then hobbled back to the changing rooms, before N'Diaye also took an injury in the second half, leaving us with just ten on the field, three of whom were utterly hopeless. And then we scored a second through an excellent counter. They pulled one back, but we progressed to the final with the most injury-hit of injury-hit squads.
Roma 1-2 Canvey Island
Final: Schalke were our opponents, surely it would be an easier ride? The team was a wreck, the only surviving starters being our keeper Porchia, striker Pelaez, midfielder Reis and wingers Quevedo and Martinez. We went ahead after 10 minutes through a header from centre back Dario Piras, only to be pegged back by an unfortunate own goal from Porchia. A minute after the interval, Pelaez was sent off for an elbow, but try though they might, Schalke simply couldn't score and the game went to penalties. Piras had a chance to clinch it with the fifth penalty, but did a John Terry and bottled it. Finally, holding mid Maxymov slotted his penalty home to complete an incredible tournament win for Canvey.
Schalke 1-1p Canvey Island
Players of the Season
A few standout players this year. Massimiliano Porchia played superbly in goal, living up to his £11m transfer fee, whilst Quevedo produced assist after assist from the right wing. Carlos Miguel had an excellent season up until his injury, whilst Orlando Pelaez was clinical up front.
Top goalscorer: Orlando Pelaez, 44 (27 in League)
Most assists: Jonathan Quevedo, 44 (24 in League)
2018/19 Season Thoughts:
The core of the team is quite good now so there probably won't be wholesale changes. We could use a really good DM - I have my eyes on someone but they'll be expensive, and City are also sniffing around Pelaez. Could still use two top full backs as well, but otherwise the squad is looking good.
Season League Position Europe Cups Other
2012/13 BSS 1st N/A FAC 1st, FAT 4th BSS Manager of the Season, Player of the Season (Marcus Bent)
2013/14 BSP 2nd N/A FAC 3rd, FAT 1st Promoted via playoffs, Player of the Season (Marcus Bent)
2014/15 L2 1st N/A FAC 3rd, JPT 2nd, LC 1st Winner, L2 Manager, Player of the Season (Bill Paul)
2015/16 L1 1st N/A FAC 3rd, JPT 3rd, LC 1st Winner, L2 Manager, Player of the Season (Bill Paul)
2016/17 CH 1st N/A FAC 4th, LC 3rd Winner, CH Manager of the Season
2017/18 PL 5th N/A FAC Final, LC QF PL Manager of the Season
2018/19 PL 4th Europa Winners FAC Semi, LC Winner PL Manager of the Season