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About bestbrother

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  1. Got a Larne save, its crazy the amount of money you get, but really cant spend in fairness as the player interest in coming to N.Ireland isnt there. Season League Irish Cup Irish League Cup County Antrim Shield NIFL Charity Shield Steel and Sons Cup Intermediate Cup Champions League Europa League 18/19 Championship WINNERS (Promoted) Semi Finals Semi Finals 1st Round - WINNERS WINNERS - - 19/20 CHAMPIONS WINNERS Runners Up 1st Round - - - - - 20/21 CHAMPIONS WINNERS WINNERS WINNERS WINNERS - - 2nd Qualifying 3rd Qualifying 21/22 CHAMPIONS Runners Up Quarter Finals WINNERS WINNERS - - Group Stage (4th) - 22/23 CHAMPIONS (unbeaten) WINNERS WINNERS WINNERS WINNERS - - Group Stage (4th) - Got a budget of just under £500,000 per week to spend on wages But so far only spending like £150,000 per week... biggest signing completed was Timothy Weah for 2.5m. Europe was the last thing to crack, but its hard to find players that want to sign. I dont use scouts, so I rely on the list that pops up when you go for the default search and on there its very slim pickings. Cant get that list to line up. Good fun at the time for a save, good luck in yours.
  2. 2020/21 BIG Kenny kept to his word and released funds for us to have a crack at Europe and hopefully continue our domestic domination. Things would slowly evolve for the club this year on and off the pitch, with improvements to our training facilities and youth setup. The motivation was to repeat as Champions and to taste European football on a continuous basis. It didnt take long to make our intentions clear going until the end of November before we tasted a defeat (1-3 @ Glenavon) though a spate of draws had left us amongst the pack with Crusaders and Linfield. That defeat would spark a reaction to which no one else could follow. 4 wins in December ignited another long undefeated run, this time until the final matchday where by the title had already been clinched, yet Glenavon once again triumphed over us 3-4 to end the season. We had found a new resilience, French Keeper 'Cibois broke a league record with over 20 clean sheets, whilst our French revolution took a new meaning when Porson-Clemente arrived and would notch 9 goals in 7 league appearances. Our first ever foray into Europe and the excitement was as such that BIG Kenny chartered 10 planes to fly the squad, staff and fans over to Gibraltar, where for some reason we had to qualify from a mini 4 team tournament to get into the Champions League Qualifying rounds. We managed to escape this hell-hole thanks to a 4-2 win over San Marinese side La Florita, 3 goals in the opening volleys secured our passage in the competition. From there we finally had the chance to show our wares in the home and away format, first overcoming Maltese Champions Birikianra, 10-0 on aggregate a thumping start to our footsteps in Europe. Sadly the roles reversed for us in the 2nd Qualifying Round as Dinamo Zagreb proved way to strong en route to a 2-8 aggregate slugging. It was a brave effort, but the reality is, we are along way off being able to compete at this level amongst our peers. After our exertions in the Champions League we had hopes of doing a little better in tlhe Europa League. The draw appeared to be kind to us, Icelandic side KR would be our foe and for some reason we froze.. literally. 0-1 reversals in both legs saw us slump out of Europe too early in my eyes, but we had a fantastic taste of what is surely to come for Little Larne. Back to back doubles was clinched in the 91st minute as we edged out Ballymena 3-2, once again Porson-Clemente hit the headlines with 9 scored in 4 games. Back to back domestic trebles for us as we beat Linfield to clinch the first major trophy of the year, setting us up nicely for the run in. County Antrim Shield Our first ever success in this competition as this proved to be one of 5 trophies added to our cabinet. Charity Shield Season opener and Cliftonville would feel our wrath as Larne would lift this competition for the first time. Squad Overview Plenty of games and plenty of goals as 6 players would notch double figures as Zohi stepped up to fill the shoes of McDaid top scoring with 28. Porson-Clemente impressed with 20 goals in just 12 games for the club, whilst the influx of French players overall made a huge impression with Cibois & Dotte being huge additions to our defensive unit. Transfers The loss of McDaid proved to be a mere blip on the clubs imprint as we spent over £1,000,000 to add depth to the squad. 3 signings from France proved inspirational, whilst we added home grown depth to bolster the squad. The signing of Dotte not only smashed the club transfer record, but also the leagues record at £725,000. Add all of the leagues salary budgets together and they still pale in comparison to what we managed to outlay. The influx of foreign talent and the new work permit rules that enforce a £8,000 per week wage ensured the increase. Club Notes 1756 fans would grace Inver Park this year across the season, yet our European games would be farmed out to Carrick and their Taylors Avenue stadium. Ben Tilney came back to the fans attention claiming their favourite player award National Awards saw Bisaffi Dotte claim the Young Player of the Year award thanks to his rock like efforts in the back 4. Whilst back to back manager of the year awards fell into my lap. Whats Next? Its a process, if you want to succeed you have to keep laying the seeds and to that end we will look to invest as much as we can into the playing staff, not only to continue our dominance in domestic football, but to edge closer to those Group Stages and beyond in the Champions League. It wasnt to be this year, but BIG Kenny has big plans on and off the park at Larne!
  3. Nice work, very interested in this as im running a Larne save, so its good to compare and see how the Irish game evolves. Ive made the UCL Groups in season 4, not expecting much more than that, but hopefully it will help the league grow as you have during your reign. I take it that its your reserves playing in the Steel & Sons / Intermediate Cups? I won both of them in season 1 when we were in the Championship, but have not played in them since... I assumed they were lower league cup competitions.
  4. 2019/20 BIG Kenny's dream had been realised, promotion to the big time achieved last season saw him invest more money into the club, releasing funds to overhaul the squad ready for the next step in Larne's development. It was important to start well and fortunately our good form from last season rolled over as we went 8 games undefeated to top the table through September. Those 8 games saw us go 'nap 3 times, scoring 5 at Dungannon, Cliftonville and Warrenpoint. Our first defeat at fellow promoted side Portadown sparked a mini slump as we would lose 3 and draw 3 of our next 8 games, allowing perennial powerhouse Linfield to take a stranglehold on the table. However that seemed to spark us into life, triggering a 12 game winning streak that started with a 6-1 win over Warrenpoint and included a 4-0 win at defending Champions Glenavon, another 6 goal romp against Glentoran and crucially a 2-1 win at Linfield that put us in charge of our own destiny. We would top the table at the split with a 4pt lead. We opened with a draw at home to Glenavon that allowed Linfield to get close, but then with the critics believing we had blown our chance, a Jack Rodwell inspired 5-2 win at Linfield was all she needed to write. The title was ours to lose and our goalless draw at home to Coleraine put us over the line and sealed the clubs first ever top flight Championship. The miracle was achieved, from promotion to Northern Irelands Champions inside 2 years is more than anyone could ever imagine. BIG Kenny and Larne will now face Europes best and usurping Real Madrid is now on the cards! Our first league title would be followed by our first ever Irish FA Cup triumph as the double was clinched with ease over Cliftonville. Our run nearly came a cropper in the Quarters as Ballymena pushed us to ET, but there was little else to worry about en route to lifting more silverware. After last years Semi Final loss we would go one step further, yet fall just short as Linfield edged us in ET and looking back, prevented a clean sweep of trophies this year. County Antrim Shield One and done again in the County Shield as we fall in a penalty shootout. Squad Overview Our success once again stemmed from a fruitful forward line, this time McDaid went wild with 44 goals in 41 games. Gray continued to impress with another 20, whilst French forward enjoyed his first year in the country with 14 goals in a stop start campaign. Notable additions of Rodwell and O'Dea gave us a huge lift through January, with the former easily becoming a staple of our midfield scoring 3 in his 16 appearances in the 2nd half of the season. Transfers First up we would lose a pair of key players from our promotion season with Monaghan and Stewart leaving on free transfers. On top of that we would release a further 10 players as the overhaul started the day we gained promotion. BIG Kenny loosened the purse-strings and that saw us able to spend over £500,000 on proven players from the division, as well as Zohi for a club record £175,000 from France. In January in order to bolster the clubs chances we added Jack Rodwell and Darren O'Dea for free, paying out big in wages to snap up crucial experience. We almost tripled our annual wage expenditure to enhance our chances this year. Rodwell topped the club wage bill with over £7000 per week. Club Notes An extra 100 fans per game would attend Inver Park on average this year @ 1262. 44 goal man David McDaid wins the Larne Fans Player of the Year Award. National Awards saw David McDaid claim the Leagues Top Scorer and Player of the Year Awards. Whilst I would deservedly clinch the division Manager of the Year honours. Whats Next? Before anything, next year will see us need to replace a club legend as David McDaid decided against renewing his deal at Larne to take on a challenge south of the border at Cork. That aside we will relish our first attempt in the Champions League and BIG Kenny has already bolstered the transfer budget and has promised to back us in our endeavours to go deep in Europe's premier competition.
  5. 2018/19 NIFL Championship, a graveyard of a league but its where we had to begin as once BIG Kenny heard of my intentions for his club, he knew there would only be one man capable of bringing the dream to Larne. Off the pitch things would take care of themselves, on it I had to motivate a bunch of players who had oversaw a mid table finish last time out. Fortunately we were able to put out a competitive team and as much as it would be a fascinating story to tell of a dramatic season and a finale full of twists and turns, the facts were we dominated from the get go, ensuring promotion with 8 games left and a shot at the big time in Northern Ireland. Our 26 wins from 32 fixtures proved to be a club record and infact we looked odds on for an unbeaten season until matchday 31 where a sending off hindered our chances as we lost 1-2 at Knockbreda to tarnish an almost perfect season. At one point we would go 7 games without conceding, whilst surprisingly would end up with a goals for/against record of 35-9 both home and away. A chance at qualifying for Europe saw us go head on in the Irish Cup, making the most of 4 straight home draws to knockout top flight opposition Linfield, Crusaders and Ards en route the to the Semi Finals. Alas when it counted we fell apart as 2 red cards left us clinging on for a 0-0 draw with Ballymena, before losing out 5-6 on penalties in an exacerbating finish. Another of the major cups and another loss in the last 4 as we fell short against Premiership side Cliftonville. What is this cup? Im unsure tbh, we faced a gaggle of lower league and amateur clubs en route to winning the competition. At no point did it look like we would fall short and this would be the first trophy gained this season and a nice Christmas present for the fans. Intermediate Cup Another long cup run here, once again we faced a variety of opposition as after 7 (SEVEN) rounds of action, we finally won the trophy beating H&W Welders 3-1 in the Final. The last piece of a fantastic 'Treble' for Larne. County Antrim Shield If you are sick of Cup competitions then this is the country to avoid. We fell early here to top flight opponents. Squad Overview We went with 3 up top this year due to a lack of wide players with any resemblance of quality. Fortunately it worked out as all 4 of our regular strikers notched double digits, with McQuaid topping the charts with 35 in all competitions. Note that Fuad Sule would leave us in January as his 6 month loan came to a finish, however his impressive effort for the club still earns him recognition as one of the 3 most important midfielders at the club this year. Transfers We spent just £30,000 this year as a January signing of Clarke gave us added deth for the run in. However it was the pre-season additions that caught the eye as we chased League experience with the likes of Konchesky, Ian Black, Taylor-Fletcher and the 46 year old Joe Tessem all penning 12 month deals with the club. Sadly they didnt contribute as hoped on the pitch, but their presence at the club he breed that winning mentality. You have to spend to succeed, thats the mantra of the club and it proved to be the case as 3 trophies and a promotion to the top flight were just rewards. Club Notes We average 1157 fans this year, with a record 2050 turning up for our Steel and Sons Cup Semi Final win over Ballyclare. English Left Back, Ben Tilney wins the Larne Fans Player of the Year Award. He (Ben Tilney) also adds the Bluefin Sport Championship Player of the Year Award to his cabinet Whats Next? We achieved the club target of promotion whilst adding 2 Cup wins and a pair of Semi Final runs as we got the instant success we deserved. The hard work begins now, not only do we have to revamp everything for top flight football, but there will be extra games (38 > 32 league fixtures) whilst also dealing with the vast experience of sides such as Linfield, Glentoran, Crusaders and more on a weekly basis. BIG Kenny is promising big funds, lets hope we can entice the right type of player to Larne for the challenges to come!
  6. Thanks for following, its a shame it went wrong... I think getting promotion to the Championship at the first attempt may have seen a different outcome as BIG Glenn may have hung around. However it wasnt to be and the club imploded. I like your ideas and I do have the save still, however I normally play as I love the idea of doing something with that club and then generally go for it on those terms until it changes. Ive very rarely done a save where I kept the manager on, im more attached and play for the club rather than as an individual manager looking to forge a career. Adding a new manager is an option though something ive never done. Not sure if that would be enough as chances are the club will fall straight back to where it came from It was a wild ride thats for sure! Thanks for reading albeit a brief save in the end
  7. To give this a conclusion, sadly ive been sacked after 40 games and the clubs confirmed relegation. It was always on the cards, we only had 12 players on the clubs books accounting for £200,000 per week in wages, which exceeded the new boards budget. This left us unable to do anything in the market of note and put us in a ridiculous situation. However early 0-8 and 2-9 defeats set the tone as we were smashed from the get go, never leaving the foot of the table. At one point we lost 18 games in a row... and by the time my tenure came to a close we had 5 wins (somehow!) and 2 draws from the 40 games we played. On top of that we had conceded 149 goals and sat with a -97GD. Days before I got the chop the board stated next year the club would be run on a paltry £12,000 per week wage budget.... impossible given that some players earned triple that and we even paid some players 12 grand per appearance as a bonus The club is in absolute disarray and if im being honest, once BIG Glenn left, a part of me left with him and promotion to the Championship just delayed the obvious. At the end of it the fans will thank me... they will overlook the £25,000,000 worth of debt/loans the club is saddled with, they wont care that the club dosent have a youth team, they will also forget that we sold both the clubs training facilities and youth facilities at one point..... but they will remember 4 promotions, 3 victorious trips to Wembley and the plethora of stars that adorned the blue of Billericay. It may have been a brief blip in time, but I put Billericay on the footballing map and for that I will never have to buy a drink or pay for a meal in Billericay ever again
  8. 2023/4 Turmoil is a word probably used too often at the 'Ricay but it probably was as apt as ever this year with changes all over the club... Things started well with the team struming their way to 3 straight wins, yet just 12 games later the team found themselves in the bottom 4 on the back of a 10 game winless run and with arguably the biggest shock yet to come. Money had never really been an issue at the club, BIG Glenn funded the dream all the way to last years heartbreaking season finale. Yet with the Football League continuing to whinge about FFP etc, BIG Glenn finally had enough. The club was £15m in the can and with BIG Glenn finally succumbing to the fact that the EFL only want big teams to do well, he put the club up for sale. The club running at an ongoing loss of over £1m per month, it was always going to be a hard sale, yet a local businessman would take on the club, add more debt to it and essentially try and strangle the life from everything 'Ricay. BIG Glenn would part the club stating his love would never die, but now the dream would have to be achieved without him. Billericay needed more than a miracle, not only to achieve that, but just to stay in League One. Somehow and someway everyone would unite (bar the owners). The players got behind me and from staring relegation in the face the team would go on a run that propelled us into the playoff race. Big wins at Coventry and Blackpool put us into the Top 6 going into April and although we lost 1-4 at home to Oxford on Bank Holiday weekend, 8pts from our final 5 fixtures would somehow be enough to see us nick 6th place on goals scored over Walsall. The dream was alive, but Owner Cameron Hilliard hated it... that new Supermarket in Billericay would need to wait a little bit longer! 6th (Playoffs) Here we were again, playoffs and a dream of Wembley. This time we came into it with a prayer more than anything. Oxford who had smashed us just a month earlier would be our foe and if there was ever you needed a 90 minutes from your players, then this was it. Crammed to the rafters the 'Ricay faithful roared the team onto a 4-0 win and one foot and 4 toes into the Final. Our return in Oxford would be less than the formallity we hoped, yet once Fletcher scored midway into the 2nd half, it was done and the 2-3 loss was as harmless as it sounded. Wembley our 3rd visit in 4 years and only Barnsley stood in our way of a 4th promotion under my charge. Then with our half time oranges being readied, the team switched off and fell behind as Barnsley scored a pundits perfect opener. We poured forward in search of an equaliser, but nothing worked out and with tears beginning to fill the fans eyes and the club staring at the abyss of a huge restructure... Ashley Fletcher corked in a 90th minute leveller and forced extra time. Momentum had now swung in our favor and we needed to make the most of it. Fortunately we did as Jordan Mutch stepped up to slot home to give us a 2-1 lead. We had 20 minutes to hold out and try as they might, Barnsley were unable to get back on terms leaving us in dreamland and a promotion to the Championship. We lose out again early doors this time to Accrington Stanley, who are they? EXACTLY 1st Round Proper QPR batter us in the Worthington Cup. 1st Round Group Stage Not much to see here as our woeful efforts in Cup competitions continues. Transfers Noticeably we were unable to add anyone after BIG Glenn left the club. 3 additions including £500k on Cameron Burgess would replace the same amount leaving. The loss of Sam Gallagher was disappointing but he wanted to try his hand at a bigger challenge, but as you can see, we would end up spending less across the year on wages as our new owners restrictions came into affect. Squad Recap Club Notes Leandro Bacuna and Ashley Fletcher represent the club in the League 1 Team of the Year Ashley Fletcher breaks the club record with 32 goals this year. With BIG Glenn leaving the heart of the club seemed to go with him. This would tell as we would lose an average 500 fans per game. Next Season Promotion to the Championship should be the most exciting thing to happen to Billericay, yet without BIG Glenn and with an owner wanting to sell the club ground to build a Supermarket, im a little bit miffed over mine and the clubs future. Money is bound to be tighter than it ever was, plus we have a few bad contracts that we are unable to shift.. notably: Those 3 selfish footballers account for just under half of our wage expenditure at this stage, plus with annual 50% kickers tacked into their contracts, by the end of it Thorne and Ajose will be on over 60 grand a week a piece!
  9. 2022/23 It seemed like a dream, a fairytale that was written never to be told, yet here we where in the 3rd tier of English football and ready to mix it alongside former Premier League behemoths such as Ipswich, Bolton, Portsmouth and Bradford City. Again we made a commitment to the club by investing wisely in the transfer market, spending nothing on transfer fees, yet adding enough talent to help us navigate the tricky seas ahead. Infact those additions seemed to spur the team on to even better things as we instantly adjusted to life in League One, winning 7 of our opening 8 games as Ashley Fletcher and Sam Gallagher would instantly click, scoring at whim as in a 7 day spurt we hit Fleetwood and Burton for 4 at home, sandwiching a 6 goal mauling of Portsmouth. This run would last us into the New Year as although Plymouth usurped our place at the top, we continued to collect enough points to hold onto 2nd spot and a 7pt gap on the chasing pack. Things turned on their head in a dramatic fashion, just 3pts from 15 in February allowed Portsmouth to edge us out of 2nd place. Couple this with a worsening disciplinary situation and we would win up collecting 6 of our 8 red cards in our final 10 games of the year. A 0-5 home stuffing by Bradford seemed to be a catalyst to some sort of revival, but when we would go on to collect just 1 point from our remaining 4 games, all hopes of automatic promotion were dashed. 3rd place was a stunning debut for the club at this level, but it could and should have been more. We head into the playoffs on the back of 3 straight defeats... 3rd (Playoffs) 3rd v 6th, it almost writes itself. We should have gone up automatically but blew it.. Bolton ramapaged their way into the dance with a dramatic late run. The momentum was with them and it showed as although we held them at 1-1 for the majority of the tie at the Reebok, 2 late Wanderers goals essentially sealed our fate. We had to go hard at home, but it was never to be. Bolton scored 3 once more, we would lose our 5th straight game and hopes of Championship football would need to be put on hold for another year. A penalty shootout humbling by Non League Dover Athletic. 1st Round Proper A penalty shootout humbling by League 2 Stevenage Borough. 1st Round 2nd Round A tidy little run here as we got carried away and put out strong teams to try and progress. Disappointingly we lost out to Gillingham once the competition began proper. Transfers Honestly you have to pinch yourself when you realise who we managed to snag this year. The impression that Billericay are having on English football is so great that England I's Vardy and Cahill would sign their final contracts at the club. We added foreign spice with Capoue, Krul, Defour and Forestieri joining the ranks... whilst the additions of future England starlets Kasey Palmer and Tyler Blackett proved the club was looking to the future. All this added to our wage expenditure, but with zero fees spent on transfers, id say we came out on top this year in terms of the winners and losers in the transfer market. Squad Recap Club Notes Leandro Bacuna represents the club in the League 1 Team of the Year 133 yellows, 8 reds... there is no surprise there, its 'Ricay they are jealous. We average a stunning 3431 fans this year, including the clubs first ever sellout of 5000 at home to Bolton in the League One playoffs, In just 5 years we have almost tripled our fanbase! Next Season We are nursing a net debt of around £15,000,000 at the minute. Its sustainable but I will probe the club to invest more as we need to add to our squad and not deplete it. The plan is to double the squad size in order to cope with the rigours of a 46 game season.
  10. Cheers for checking in @Deisler26 & @ToMexico!! And To is right
  11. 2021/22 Our first crack in the professional ranks and although we would be odds-on to go down, 5-0 and 4-1 wins in our opening 3 games would set the tone for the first half of the season. The team played without fear, we would then go to Notts County and win 4-1, before another 5-0 win on the road saw us tear up Doncaster Rovers, all this with Omar Bogle running riot helping himself to 10 goals in the opening 11 league games. 4 straight wins in October (all without conceding) had put us firmly in the Top 3 and dreams of an instant bounce into League One were fast becoming a reality to cling on to. Consolidation of that place was key as we would win 3 and draw 3 of our remaining league games of 2021, but then the most dramatic month in the clubs history would unfold in January.... BIG Glenn had lost control of the finances, he had been on an extended break in Spain and before long the club spiralled out of control, with office staff running rogue and spending thousands on pot plants, instant coffee and ad hoc stationary. In the end it was the playing staff that suffered, punished for our success and now in danger of falling apart. It continued to spiral, by the end of the month the players were being paid by the PFA... but the bad news didnt end there... The team would sink from 3rd to 14th, a disaster that no one could for see. 3 years of hard work, spoilt in an instant. The club would appeal, but the Football League only favours the big clubs and we knew that to dig ourselves out of this hole we had to go it alone. We had to dig in, sadly the vultures appeared and Millwall would sign our keeper (and only fit keeper) Jason Steele for a paltry £80,000, it left us in a hole and having to play a 'grey' keeper for 2 games... that saw us ship 11 goals and lose 2 on the bounce. Fortunately Henderson would find his fitness in time for our run in, as although we would lose on his return, the team would win 9 of its next 10 (drawing the other) to slot us back into the Top 7, just in time for this... BIG Glenn had come back, a CVA was put in place, another Gift Loan topped things off and with 4 to play we had a chance to pull off a miracle and reach the playoffs against all the odds. We did just enough, a loss at Shrewsbury on the penultimate game left us nervy going into the finale at home to Wimbledon, however the point we took was more than enough as Carlisle failed to get the win they needed and we were there. The irony is that without admin we would have gone up automatically, but the playoffs it was. 7th (Playoffs) Aldershot had come from no where to wind up 4th in the table, giving us a chance to overcome the team that took the Conference title last time out. Home advantage first and a bumper crowd roared us home to a 3-1 win, Bogle adding that crucial 3rd in the 90th minute as late goals proved his trademark all year long. We would score late again in the return, but this would just shore up our position as the 'Shots came up short in the 1-1 draw. Back at Wembley for the 2nd year in a row, its becoming a theme now for the club. This time the stakes were even higher, a chance to get into League One! Thats right, 'Ricay in the 3rd tier of English football (possibly!) A massive turn out from the Blue Army once more as we outnumbered those from Accrington, turning up the noise midway through the 1st half as Sam Gallagher proved his worth with the opening strike. We had 45 minutes to hold out, Stanley pushed and probed but they never looked like scoring. We had a couple of good chances on the counter, but we failed to kill them off. In the end Accrington run out of puff and game management would win out as we secured the 1-0 win and PROMOTION! Tears of joy and relief encompassed the 'Ricay faithful. In January we looked as if we could go out of business, by the end of May we had defied the doubters and climbed the ladder once more. BIG Glenn has committed to carrying on backing the club, but with a new office manager in charge to keep an eye on their spending. Again we should have made the 3rd Round, but again we lost a winnable tie at home. 2nd Round Proper Our first go at the Rumbelows Cup but we soon fell as after the excitement of a penalty shootout win over Swindon, Port Vale would bring us back down to earth in Round 2. 2nd Round Group Stage We best West Ham.. U23s and that was about it. Defeats in our previous group games had already left us out of the competition. Transfers Once more a clutch of players retired or left, whilst stalwart Goodwillie would go back to Scotland with our best wishes as he returned to Dundee United for his swansong. Coming in saw us add more Premier League quality but also youth, as the squad begans to shape up as a league outfit. Jason Steele proved to be an inspired signing yet his time at the club was cut short due to our administration, leaving in January to Millwall. However we would manage to reduce our wage bill overall due to some shrewd renegotiation in our contract process. Squad Recap Club Notes I win the League 2 Manager of the Year Award Omar Bogle tops the League 2 scoring charts with 25 from his 40 appearances Omar Bogle also represents the club in the League 2 Team of the Year Referees had instruction to punish us once more as we topped the charts with 131 yellow and 11 red cards during the season! Over 2000 fans would break our average attendance, infact 2178 proud 'Ricay fans helped us fill 43% of our stadium in League 2. Next Season BIG Glenn has promised to back the club in League 1 so hope springs eternal. I cant imagine anything more than staying up to be our target here. Id love a huge budget to really stamp ourselves on the division but with admin a recent memory it may be a risk too far.
  12. 2020/21 We start this year with some disappointing news off the field as our financial excesses appeared to catch up with us. The press had a field day, assuming that the club would be wound up within days.... However a shrewd business move by BIG Glenn would ensure that the 'Ricay would continue on its current run of success as the club would sell off excess land to 'The BIG Tamplin House Builders & Co.'... The latter would see the club scrap its youth team, something that we will never rely on as we push forward in signing some of the games biggest names. Back on to matters at hand and we knew it was imperative that we started brightly, which we did going 8 undefeated and topping the table into September, before back to back defeats at York and then home to Chesterfield briefly curtailed our success. We soon got back on the wagon with new boy Omar Bogle shining as he scored the winners at Ebbsfleet and Orient sparking a 9 game winning run, leaving us top of the table at the halfway point with 51pts. Alas things soon took a turn for the worse. 1 win from our next 10 left things looking perilous as we began to slid down the table, 6 home league games without a win soon saw the fans start to question the clubs policy of spending big money on big names. It wasnt until March that we finally found some sort of form, coming off the back of a crucial 0-1 loss at table toppers Aldershot, we had to get back to basics in order to at least clinch a place in the playoffs. Mason and Bogle would find their scoring boots once more, firing us to 4 at Dover, 3-0 wins over Spennymoor & Fylde, as well as coming out on top in a 9 goal thriller at Grimsby. Unfortunately we needed to be perfect in order to overturn Aldershot at the top of the league, so when already relegated Solihull Moors turned us over, before Crewe came to 'Ricay and won, we knew that our only hope of promotion would be via the playoffs. 3rd (Playoffs) This time we benefited from a bye into the Semi Finals and a home tie with Chesterfield, who had overcome York in the previous round. A club record 3919 expectant fans crammed the Arena, and with the 'Ricay leading 1-0 with 3 minutes to go, many were planning the Wembley day out. Then inexcusably and only be-known to the ref' himself, he managed to award a penalty to the visitors. Stockton kept his cool and at 1-1 we were to head to extra time. The ground was now full of nerves, would our exprience team pay back the faith we had put into it? .... Of course they would, a pristine Nicky Ajose header in the 103rd minute would be all she wrote, the 'Ricay were going to Wembley and this time it was for a place in the Football League! This was it, our shot at achieving one of the greatest fairytales written in English football. Colchester lay ahead of us, a club steeped in Football League history and experience. We were underdogs for sure and within a minute that panned out as a nervy start saw us slip a goal behind and face a mountain to get back on track. However there would be one man who stood out, stood up for the money invested in him, that man...OMAR BOGLE. Big Bogle would run roughshod over the Colchester defence, bullying them at every turn before he equalised and then scored the eventual winner before half time. Colchester tried to get on terms, but they were never good enough... we had the lead and we had League football in our hands. The 'Ricay were promoted, the 20000 fans there celebrated en masse... BIG Glenn almost reduced to tears, the club are now part of the fabric of English football. Our best run yet probably most frustrating. We eased into the 2nd round and drew Conference North club Darlington at home. It should have been a bye into the 3rd round... we lost, 0-2 and crashed out with a whimper. 2nd Round Proper Not overly fussed with this exit, its a shame it came to old foe Dulwich Hamlet, but we had bigger plans this year and a Trophy run could have caused more problems than it was worth. 2nd Round Transfers A big transition of players this year, not shown are the 5 that retired, so those that came in, essentially replaced those that left. Bogle and Winnall proved to be masterstroke signings, whilst the experience added in Danny Baath, Guediora and George Thorne gave the side a solid spine to build from. It would increase our wage spending, though we tempered that a little by renewing and reducing a few current salaries by offering a larger bonus pot for various players. Squad Recap *Ben Arfa fans here may notice his absence... well thats because we didnt see him for the final 3 months of the year. It did save us a few quid as we continued to fine him, but he refused to train at the school field we shared with the local under 9s and as such appeared just 3 times and will leave the club this summer as a mere peck on our history. Club Notes Sam Winnall clinches the 'Ricay Fans Player of the Year award, taking it away from back to back winner Callum Kennedy. BIG Glenn has put in a further £4,000,000 to help underpin the clubs ongoing financial commitments. This will roll into the Football League and hopefully the increased reputation will allow us to expand our commercial viability. Engorged by the whopping 3919 who turned up to our playoff win over Chesterfield. We would again put up record crowd numbers, averaging over 1640 as we say goodbye to the non-league ranks. Next Season We all know what this season will mean for the club. We have to spend, but it has to be in the right areas. Promotion isnt out of the realms of possibility here, but once more we will play catchup on those around us and begin the year as underdogs in every sense of the word.
  13. 2019/20 As always promoted sides will start the year as underdogs, its a huge ask expecting anything other than survival going from a part time league to essentially Englands 5th professional football competition. BIG Glenn ensured we stood some sort of chance by turning the club full time, but even the most ardent 'Ricay fan would have been hard pushed to expect much from a division that contains bags of league experience. None the less I promised the world, promotion as Champions, FA Trophy Winners and a run to the holy land of the FA Cup 3rd Round. Those promises helped BIG Glenn unleash the purse strings and with some creative accounting I managed to push the club to spend circa £200,000 per week on wages... something we needed to play catchup with the rest in our division. On the pitch things started slowly with 3 losses from 4, before 8 wins from 9 propelled us up to 3rd in the table as our new strikeforce of Goodwillie and Ajose began to find their goalscoring feet as aspirations looked to turn into reality. Sadly such is life in this division, we would only go on to muster 4 more league wins in 2019, leaving us in the chasing pack but still handily placed to over achieve and clinch a slot in the playoffs. The new year bought some respite with big away wins at Solihull and Boreham Wood, but it wasnt until the end of February and a 3-0 home win over doomed Eastleigh that saw us ignite on the pitch once more. That result sparked an upturn in fortunes as we would end the season on a double-digit unbeaten run, including 4-1 romps over Maidstone, Grimsby and Chorley. Whilst our final game saw Orient get thumped 5-2 on their own patch as Goodwillie did enough to top the league scoring charts nabbing his 24th and 25th goals in the rout. All that effort left us in an incredible 6th place and a shot at promotion via the playoffs, albeit the long way round! 6th (Playoffs) Into the playoffs and we would face Grimsby, a club with vast experience throughout its ranks, but a team we had done the league double over with a 2-1 win at Blundell Park, before a late season 4-1 stuffing at the 'Ricay. Alas 4-1 would crop up again, but not in our favor. A 3rd minute Jordan Mutch strike left us dreaming, but tired legs and shoddy officiating setup Grimsby for the undeserved win, leaving us outside and looking on. A sad end to a wonderful season. Well we made the 1st round but fell to Exeter City who just had too much for us on their quagmire of a pitch. A valiant effort and a taste of what will surely come for this club. 1st Round Proper Probably deserved more here, we did continue our dominance of those clowns from Chelmsford overcoming them in a replay. But with our fixture list piling up, Ebbsfleet took advantage of our heavily rotated squad to down us in a replay. 2nd Round Transfers A overhaul was needed as the club turned full time for the first time. Money had to be offered out in order to entice the big name players to Billericay. A fair few failed to work out, Akinfenwa never played a game for the club before he left mid season to Gateshead, whilst 3 other key players from the title winning campaign last time out all left to ply their trade elsewhere. We would spend over £1,000,000 on new signings but it was our free transfer additions that sent shockwaves through the footballing world as we added a raft of Premier League experience in January with Hatem Ben Arfa of PSG fame the most notable of those additions. All this put our wage budget to its limit, something we needed to do in order to catchup the rest of the division. Contractual obligations are likely to increase that next year, but with BIG Glenn still commited to the club, it should only enhance our reputation in English football. Squad Recap *Ben Arfa is not pictured here as injuries and lack of fitness restricted him to 4 starts (18 apps overall) scoring twice and missing a penalty. Club Notes David Goodwillie clinches the Conference's top scorer award with 25 in his debut season at the 'Ricay. BIG Glenn reassures fans and the banks that he will deal with the ongoing financial situation at the club. He has guaranteed that we can honour all current contracts and has personally invested another £300,000 to deal with the current £2,500,000 debt the club is running at. The club continued to break records with just under 1600 fans attending home games on average. Next Season Once again we will attempt to overcome the odds and put on a promotion charge. Financially I am hoping for a little wiggle room, there will be wheeling and dealing with a fair few contracts favouring the players over the club. However with a full preseason ahead with this bunch of players, there is an air of confidence that we can sustain a title push across the 46 games.
  14. 2018/19 There was only one outcome acceptable here and that was promotion, ideally via winning the League but if it came via the playoffs, so be it, 'Ricay need to be in the Vauxhall Conference as soon as possible. Heavy investment was made (more on that later) so a quick start was needed and got as we topped the table with big wins against Truro and Concord Rangers, whilst ticking it over collecting regular points with 3-1 wins over St Albans, Woking and Hampton & Richmond. Ironically through all this our only defeats would come at home, the heaviest by Dulwich Hamlet 1-4 a team that would feature heavily in our future this season. 6 straight wins heading over the New Year, that included a pair of derby wins over Chelmsford (2-0 & 1-0) would place us in a comfortable top spot as only Dulwich were able to keep relative pace as we made the most of our strong squad depth. However our home frailties once again frustrated us, Welling and Torquay would come away from 'Ricay with the maximum, this gave Dulwich the advantage and as we headed into a crucial clash with our rivals, the table looked increasingly uneasy.... We had to win on their patch. It looked all too easy as we led 2-0 with 20 to play, but the pressure got to our star studded lineup and within 10 minutes we had been pegged back. A draw would have been as good as waving the white flag, fortunately we had the quality to put our foot down once more and revenge for our home hammering could not have been sweeter than this... Dulwich still held the advatange but they would slip, whilst we gassed on with 3 straight wins before a draw at Dartford in our penultimate game would leave us needing just a point at home to Bath in the season finale. Dulwich meanwhile would travel to Weston Super Mare knowing that they had to win to make the most of any slip up.. Well that looked like happening, half time at 'Ricay and although we had led 1-0, we were 1-3 down... scandalous, near on 3000 fans had turned up, yet we were choking. The crowd murmurmed with discontent as those with wireless radios found out that Dulwich were leading 1-0 and if things didnt change, they would win the League and we would fall into the ignominy of a playoff place. Jamie O'Hara would smash home a goal to rally the 'Ricay in the second half, but the biggest cheer would circle the ground when news trickled through that Dulwich had been pegged back, they now needed to score, whilst another goal for us would kill all momentum they had. In the end both games fizzled out as they were, we would win the title on the back of a dramatic defeat but it mattered little as wild scenes would ensue with BIG Glenn rolling out the champagne and more to spark the wildest party ever seen in Billericay! CHAMPIONS! We had hoped to make the 1st Round Proper but it wasnt to be as comfortable wins over Willard and then Bognor Regis, would see us only to fall 0-3 at Barnet in the 4th Qualifying Round. There was money to be made but there were bigger fish to fry this year. 4th Qualifying Round More realistic hopes here of doing something special and at one point it looked like we could. Wins at East Thurrock and Truro would push us into the 2nd Round. We then won a 5 goal thriller at Blyth, before losing out in a 7 goal thriller at Hereford as a chance of a Quarter Final place was squandered against a team well below our stature. 3rd Round Transfers Everyone knows that BIG Glenn loves a name, so it was only right we chased as many ex-Professionals as we could. There was money available and it would have been wrong for the club not to spend it. Off we went around the UK recruiting anyone who knew the value of a £ and by the end of it, we had a squad that wouldnt have looked out of place in a Panini Premier League sticker album... Our only 2 cash purchases saw Kane Ferdinand (of the famed footballing family dynasty) get his chance to get back into full time football, whilst Danny Rowe saw sense and the potential at the club dropping down from the Championship for a club record £100,000. Squad Recap Club Notes Left Back Callum Kennedy wins the National League South Player of the Year Award. Over £5000 in FA fines and a League worst 103 yellow cards / 7 red cards saw BIG Glenn feel the wrath of the league hierachy serving out a 3 game stadium ban for dressing up as a referee and booking all his players as they came out onto the pitch for the home game against rivals Chelmsford. The club would average a record 1244 fans across the league campaign this year, with the home game against Bath topping the charts at just shy of 3000 watching the club celebrate the Title. Next Season Preparations for our first crack at the Conference have already stepped up a pace. The squad is likely to face an overhaul, but more importantly is the news that BIG Glenn has not only pushed the club to full time status, but has confirmed his ambition in driving 'Ricay up the leagues with a BIG budget for the season ahead...
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