alexcharliemann

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About alexcharliemann

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  1. Could be a fun season if these odds are accurate!
  2. Thanks! It worked nicely.
  3. Portstewart - Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 - 2015/16 A fantastic season where our squad completely clicked and things worked from the off in all competitions. League Table - Champions. We sneaked into first place with the tightest defence in the division, despite playing 3-1-4-2! It went to the final day where a Bangor defeat saw us avoid the promotion/relegation playoff and finish the season as Champions. League Cup - Quarter finals. A good run there, before a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Premiership Glentoran. Intermediate Cup - Champions. In our final appearance in the competition we romped to the final before beating the Linfield B team 3-1 in the final. Irish Cup - Semi-finals. Great outcome for a team from our league. On the way we beat Premiership sides Portadown 2-1 and Carrick 3-1. We took a pasting from Linfield 5-2. But in one season we faced the teams 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11th in the Premiership and won 2. Bodes well. Transfer - Some of last seasons loanees were signed permanently, and a couple more loan players bulked out the squad. Squad - Decent squad for this level. A bit on the small side and too many defenders, not enough wingers. Finances - Despite all the money from our cup runs we've still dropped to £-142k, so financial armageddon is nigh. Will be interested to see if being in the top league makes any difference here. Key Players Craig Moore - 27 goals from 38 games ensure he is back in the top league where he belongs. Holding onto him is a must. James McLaughlin - 32 goals from 40 games for the big target man, clinical finishing this season. I have doubts he will make the full jump to the next level but likely to get the chance. Our success was entirely built on this big man small man strike partnership. So many goals from flick ons to someone one on one with the keeper. Craig Ramsey - third straight season being the main man at the back and he didn't disappoint. Moving from a 4 man to 3 man defence was risky but keeping it narrow and simple, and now losing the 2 full backs bombing it up the pitch actually kept us more secure. Craig's tight marking and determination to be first to the ball were crucial. Next Season Three seasons down and we are now in the top league. Unsure how the squad will cope at the top level, but then we won 2 out of 4 games against top flight sides this season. I think one new defender, a couple of wingers and a striker should do it. Lets see if we survive. Season League Position Other ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2013/14 Championship 2 2nd Promoted 2014/15 Championship 1 4th 2015/16 Championship 1 1st Intermediate Cup Winners
  4. For once one of these headlines actually works perfectly
  5. Expectation is definitely on us this season: following our great end of last season we are now third favourites.
  6. Portstewart - Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 - 2014/15 A real Jekyll and Hyde season. The first half of the season looked like I would get us relegated, but in the second half everything clicked. We changed from the 442 Diamond to playing 3-1-4-2 or 4-2-3-1, depending on whether the opposition were playing wide men or narrow. League Table - In the first half of the season we only gained 12 points (from 13 games). By comparison, in the second half we got 33 points and only lost once. Going unbeaten in our last 11 games we looked invincible. Indeed on the last day we played Dergview who needed to win to clinch the title and promotion, and we smashed them 3-0. In the end we finished 5 points off promotion in 4th, which was our highest position of the whole season. If we can keep this squad together next season then promotion looks possible. League Cup - first round exit to Larne on penalties. Intermediate Cup - third round exit to Loughall after extra time. Irish Cup - fourth round exit away to top flight Cliftonville 3-0, no disgrace there. Transfer - Our signings were more squad filler this year. The exceptions were Craig Moore and Stephen Carson from Coleraine who we have a good relationship with. The loan signings also played a crucial part in our excellent run in. Squad - My Director of Football was insistent on me signing some defenders, but we didn't use all of them. Will probably learn to trim down the squad and say "no". Good forward options. Finances - Now -£122k, which doesn't sound much, but given that our highest gate receipts of the season was £444 I think we might struggle to cut the deficit. Losing £50k a season surely financial tragedy is just around the corner. Could be fun. Key Players Craig Moore - star signing centre forward from Coleraine. 17 goals from 25 starts is a great return given that his position was changed a fair bit during the season. Essential that we hang onto him. Patrick Pierce - his return to the team in the second half of the season coincided with our meteoric change in form. Towering centre back. Dropping him for new signings was a big mistake. James McLaughlin - still a beast of a target man. Goals dried up and only got 8, but sets up so many with his huge headers Next Season There was a real feeling of things coming together at the end of the season there, so promotion needs to be the aim if we can hold onto our star players. Season League Position Other ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2013/14 Championship 2 2nd Promoted 2014/15 Championship 1 4th
  7. Odds of 6-1 and still second favourites to be relegated suggest that the bookies don't really have a clue and this league could be anyones!
  8. Club Reputations
  9. Portstewart - Belfast Telegraph Championship 2 - 2013/14 First season in charge in the third tier of Northern Irish football. A rather bloated and inadequate squad met me without the necessary staff to sort them out. After hiring new staff, I set about rejuvenating the squad, letting a lot of players go. With scouting limited to Northern Ireland though options for boosting the squad were small, and done mainly through some free transfers of veterans and non-contract signings of hungry players from non-league. League Table - miraculously we only lost one game all season and finished second, just behind the University and just ahead of the Police! We drew almost as many as we won but in the end it was enough to get us over the line: a victory over the new Champions was required on the second to last day to secure promotion. League Cup - a non-event as we lost 3-0 to Premier League side Linfield in the second round. Intermediate Cup - a 1-0 defeat at home to non league Rathfern saw us knocked out first time of asking. Irish Cup - we took a journey to the fifth round after knocking out three non-league teams before an away trip to Premier League side Glenavon saw us again lose 3-0. Transfer - Of our 8 signings 6 played a key part. Squad - Seems perfectly adequate for the lower leagues. I'm not sure the next tier is that much better so wholesale changes shouldn't be needed. Finances - Hemorrhaging money and no way of controlling it. None of the players are worth anything and an average crowd of 124, generating £496 a match, isn't going to solve it. Interesting to see how this one will end. Key Players Patrick Pierce - a centre back signed from Newington who were relegated from our league. Played all games but one and was towering. James McLaughlin - already at the club, he is good in the air and an ok finisher, scored 18 goals. Darren Fitzgerald - old small and slow, not a great recipe, but signed from non league he got 9 goals in 20 appearances. Next Season We tackle the second tier, against the usual budgetary constraints. A cup win would be nice.