Hull City A.F.C.
Season Review 2016/17
npower Football League One: 1st
Position Graph | Fixtures
FA Cup: 1st Round | Carling Cup: 1st Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Winner
Match of the Season: Hull 3-2 Leeds
Two crucial decisions really turned our season on it's head, and ultimately, helped us achieve the promotion to the Championship we desired. Firstly, at the halfway stage, I switched to a more attacking formation. Out went the Makalele-esque holding midfielder, in favour of a second striker in a poacher role. This turned my formation into a 4-4-2 with advanced wingers. Not my favoured set-up, but it got us scoring more often, and sent us on a 25 game unbeaten streak, pushing us to the top of the league. The second big decision was to sign Billy Sharp in the January window. I had considered signing him back in the summer, but was reluctant to adhere to his contract demands. However, the opportunity to sign him came round again, and I took the plunge this time. His 14 goals were pivotal in our promotion campaign, meaning I can now justify the £12k per week I had to pay him.
As solid as our league performances were, we were severely helped by the incapability of the teams around us. Leeds had a meltdown of epic proportions, only managing to win 24 points from 23 games in the second half of the season. This saw them drop from comfortable league leaders, down to seventh, and outside of the playoff places, costing their manager their job. Gillingham had a wobble too, slipping well off the pace, which allowed us to secure promotion with two games to go. Bristol City equalled our points total, but due to our superior goal difference, we did enough to become champions.
The cherry on the top of our successful season cake was the victory in the JPT final. A 2-1 win over Gillingham secured the first trophy of my career, and was the club's first milestone on the way to a double-winning season. Considering we played most of the match with ten men, it was a testament to the players that we managed to hang on for the victory. 86000 was a pretty decent crowd for an all-League One affair too!
Bank Balance: £0m
Average Attendance: 18184 | Season Ticket Holders: 15733
Well, all the money's gone, so it's a good job we're going up. Contract renewals have cost us a pretty penny, also not helped by a drop in sponsorship revenue and the lack of a major cup run. A season of consolidation in the Championship should help matters greatly, though.
Squad Overview | Transfer Summary
Team of the Year | Overall Best Eleven
Fan's Player of the Year: Alex Pearce
Manager's Player of the Year: Billy Sharp
Top Goalscorer: Charlie Austin (18 goals)
PFA League 1 Team of the Year: German Lux, Alex Pearce and Adnan Januzaj
The squad has held up well this season, no big injury scares, and enough alternatives to shake things up every now and again, when required. The signing of Billy Sharp in January gave us new impetus upfront, and we finished the season with three strikers in good form. It's unfortunate that Djako Arafat couldn't agree terms with us, as I feel he would do well at the next level up, but alas, he decided to sign for Genk, where he will move to in the summer. As sharp as we've looked upfront (I'm not apologising for that pun ), our solid defensive unit (the best in the league) should also be commended, with Alex Pearce and Matthew Lowton the pick of the bunch. I've had to pay through the nose to renew Pearce's contract, making him the highest paid player at the club, but I'm certain his presence in the back four will be crucial to a successful campaign next term.
I've had my first job offer from a non-UK club. FC Petrolul of the Romanian top tier came calling after we had concluded our final fixture of the season. They offered me a 100% payrise, but very little wage or transfer budget, and the fact they had been relegated, there was little there to persuade me to jump ship. I've also been heavily linked with Inverness Caledonian Thistle (SPL), but I really fancy a crack at the Championship with Hull, so it would take a pretty tasty offer to make me leave the KC Stadium at this stage.
Kingstonian - They had another solid season in League Two, equalling their best ever position of 16th. Their squad is still full of players from my regime, so it's satisfying that I left them in good knick when moving on.
Game Set-up - As I will now be playing at the second tier of English football, I've decided to change the game set-up and add/remove a few leagues. The third and fourth tier of Sweden and Scotland have gone, as well as the fourth tier of Italy, the third tier of Portugal, and the Blue Square Regional Leagues (tier six). It's very unlikely I'll need to worry myself with job offers from these leagues, so to replace them, I've added the MLS and Australian A-League, who both are of a similar level to what I'll be playing with Hull next season.
Season Team League Finish Cups
2012/13 Kingstonian Blue Square Bet South 3rd FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
2013/14 Kingstonian Blue Square Bet Premier 3rd FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
2014/15 Kingstonian npower League Two 16th FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
2015/16 Kingstonian npower League Two 17th** **Resigned 19/12/2015
Hull City npower League One 6th FA Cup 4th Round
2016/17 Hull City npower League One 1st FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner