wisla_krakow

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About wisla_krakow

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    In the Aeroplane over the Sea
  1. Yep, still plugging away with Canvey Island. I moved house a month and a half back so have just sped on about 5 seasons or so in that time (most of it was without internet so no opportunity to post about it), got some screenies saved for an update at some point. Challenge not complete, but lets just say I've got halfway there twice in successive seasons...
  2. Canvey Island - 2022/23 - Premier League Right, lets get to it. Transfers After two seasons now in the Premier League, we had a solid base and only fine-tuning would be needed for Season 3. Niall Richardson joined first - the England international has been loaned out by Celtic for years, and spent the last year getting some experience at Villa. Now he looks a great CM, and if they're willing to let him go for just £5m (his value was only £1.5m when I agreed the deal) then good for us! He will be first choice with Mauger in the middle of the park. Dylan Alston is 16 with 4.5* PA, so into the U18s he goes. I was in the market for a quality CB to challenge Barkus/Makela and found it in Mvelase, who has earned his corn in Belgium for a couple of years. Kose was an AM agreed in January as I look to add another dimension to our tactical selections, with Baumgartel being a highly rated CM released by Bayern. As he's 18 he'll go into the reserves for now so I can tutor/train him up a bit before loaning out. We would sign Pedrozo in January - he's a highly rated left-winger however he didn't play a game due to a torn hamstring. Dean Duff became a club record signing for a whopping £15.5m - the West Ham left-back came in to give us quality on both full-back roles, seeing as our main LBs had been Hunt & Selefen who are natural RBs. Duff is 26 so in his prime, an England international and along with McKeown will hold the other full-back role for years to come. Both are English too which is great! Aaron Child was the last signing - I loaned out both Clauss and Marchal, and with Mvelase at the ACoN I was very limited at CB. He was a solid signing for half a season. David Reid left the club - and left as a club legend! He's alongside me as being one of the two men the fans love the most. I feel bad for Chuks Aneke - he picked up a horrible cruciate injury just before our first Prem season, and it decimated him. He had famously scored the second in the Play-Off Final to fire us here! Hysén flopped so left for a solid fee, Roe didn't but with quality potential youngsters like Alston and Baumgartel coming in, I felt I may as well sell him now for a good profit. Ormsby also finally completed a move away. We would actually sell Kose in January as my attempt to use attacking midfielders flopped again for a second time, and Piero Russo would leave on deadline day in January for his minimum release fee clause. Piero had been very hit and miss but frustratingly for me had been bang in form through December and January!! Premier League (5th, Qualified for the Europa League!) Huzzah! In our first two seasons we were poor starters, we rectified that this year. It would again go down to the wire as we took 5th on the final day - Spurs were ahead of us for much of the season and faded, while Reading grew stronger and stronger and even jump to 5th with a few games to go (before slipping back). We had a 5 nice games out of 8 in the run-in, so it helped that we were able to beat Man Utd 3-1 in April. There was also a nice moment against Everton, 1-0 down when 15-year-old midfielder Jake Morgan came off the bench to level late on. We would win on the final day at relegated QPR to keep 5th and qualify for the Europa League. I was sweating though - Spurs won the Carling Cup, Liverpool got the FA Cup Final, Chelsea were in the Champions League Final and Newcastle won the Europa League! Thankfully Chelsea lost, and despite Newcastle winning we were still gifted a place in the Europa. Wigan also got a spot thanks to the Fair Play League. The best game of the season was a 6-0 drubbing of Hull at the KC Stadium - this came during a striker injury crisis can you believe! This was the start of Russo's excellent form, and no, your eyes aren't deceiving you, that's a Ronnie McAuley Premier League hat-trick! He's onto 97 league goals now. Cups (Capital One Cup Quarters, FA Cup 3rd Round) We were looking very good in the Capital One Cup, but despite dominating Reading at the Madjeski we suffered a 1-0 defeat. It was pretty annoying as again it was a side we should have beaten. I wasn't too annoyed about the FA Cup really as we've had two good years in that competition - we went out on penalties to Burnley in a goal-less replay. Squad 1 and Squad 2[/url] We've got a very good squad now, only small changes should be needed year on year. The best thing is we've got a lot of good young players who still have room to improve, so things are looking very position for the future! Key Players Chris Barkus - Fantastic player, now becoming England's main CB. Just 4 years ago he was released by Championship Watford! Didier Mauger - He too is becoming an established international player, by far our best CM choice. His all-round play is great although would like more goals/assists. Stephen Young - He joined in League One and has just had his best season to date - 14 goals and assists! Has been very threatening from the wing. Benny Kaalund - Not our best striker, but certainly has the best goals/game ratio up front. Hopefully can keep growing. Youth Products Joe McKeown (YP7) - Leading Prem RB at just 19. Knocking on England's door, should be capped shortly. As long as his "Injury Proneness" doesn't play up, I see him leading the "most appearances" board in a few years... Ahmad Ameobi (YP9) - His first full season and he did a great job at as DLF, with 6 goals and 7 assists. Just 16 and only 1.5* CA so still a lot of stars to fill! Jake Morgan (YP10) - Admittedly we have a lot of strength in CM but Jake looks to have a future for us here. We also had a 4.5* PA striker come through, who I hope will partner Ameobi in the future. Career So Far ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round | |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | |2017/18 | League One | 5th | Lost Play-off Semi; FA Cup 4th Rd, JPT Quarters, C1C 1st Rd| |2018/19 | League One | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Winners, C1C 3rd Rd, FA Cup 2nd Rd | |2019/20 | Championship | 6th | Promoted via Play-Offs; FA Cup 3rd Rd, C1C 1st Rd | |2020/21 | Premier League | 11th | Survival! FA Cup Semi-Finalists, C1C 3rd Rd | |2021/22 | Premier League | 7th | FA Cup Quarter-Finals, C1C 3rd Rd | |2022/23 | Premier League | 5th | Europe! C1C Quarter-Finals, FA Cup 3rd Rd | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  3. Canvey Island - 2021/22 - Premier League After surviving our first season in the Premier League, the job is to stabilise our position. We got a solid points haul, 46 points, and I want to build on it this year in order to keep us well clear of that relegation zone and cement ourselves at least in the mid-table. Of course to do that means better players, and players cost money, something we have in spades for a change... Transfers A LOT of work was done, once again, to the squad. It's funny looking back as it feels some of those names left years ago. First I'll mention the sales - Sly, Hesp and Chambers were not Premier League quality so were flogged at the first opportunity, while Rodwell had never been Premier League quality after Man City's mistreating and unfortunately I couldn't really afford to just pay him to sit around and take up a squad space. It's a shame as he should be in the peak of his career. I stuck to my word over Gerhardsson and sold him as soon as I could (for a loss), while Ekangamene and Smith, relics from the League Two days, fetched minor fees. Losing Richard Burke was not in the plan - I hate agreeing to minimum release fee clauses, and asked several bartering sessions had to force myself to let him have one at the start of the Prem season. So as luck would have it, Arsenal and Blackburn both came in for him on 1st July, and off to Lancashire he went. I definitely want him back one day as I've put a helluva lot of effort into training him up! Amari'i Roe arrived as part of my "need more Brits" strategy, the Scotsman looked a solid squad player. Van der Loo was arranged in January, a fantastic young left-winger from Ajax. Piero Russo had scored 25 goals in 2.Liga for Kaiserslautern and had the stats to do well in the Premier League. Clauss and Remy continued my young French freebie hunt, the former a CB and the latter a GK to act as back-up to Suleiman. I spent a lot of the summer chasing Didier Mauger and finally nabbed him for £6m, despite for some reason his valuation only being £160k! No matter, for a man with 3.5* CA and 4.5* PA, £6m is a bargain. Jos Schilder was a Whittingham signing, the Dutch striker looking like he could be a brilliant Advanced Forward. My final move in August was to bring in Aussie striker Callum McMaster, with 3* CA and 4.5* PA he could be a real steal for £2.5m. Nick Rees, a 17-year-old defensive midfield arrived in January for a big fee, but a small price really for British talent with 4.5* PA. Premier League (7th) What a season it would be! We really don't start well, losing 4 games in the first 8, but already you could tell we were a much stronger until than last season. There's only been minimal changes to the starting line-up but they'd really boned us up - we had Mauger in the centre in the park now, with the quartet of Schilder/Russo/Kaalund/McMaster sharing the attacking duties. I think up front was the main thing, we took massive steps forward there. Also our young defenders, with a year's Premier League experience under their belts, were much more solid and secure. The main man was Benny Kaalund - the DoF signing had a slow first year with just one goal, by January he had 10! He made up for everyone else sharing the goals around (in December/January the next most in the league was 3!). We were just very steady throughout the year - winning when we should and having difficulty against those bigger than us, but seemingly our form was better than most as we just kept rising, even up to 5th in the league at one point near the end! We were in a real battle with Spurs, Newcastle and Stoke for 5th-8th, we edged Stoke (mainly thanks to a 3-2 win at their ground late in the season), but a last day defeat to Blackburn meant Newcastle climbed above us as they also beat Stoke. No Europe but a great year and promising signs for next season. Cups (FA Cup Quarter-Finals, Carling Cup 3rd Round) Again we did very well in the FA Cup - the pick being a 5-2 win at White Hart Lane to dump Spurs out in Round 4. Frustratingly though we would fail against a team beneath us, losing to eventual winners Villa 1-0 after dominating. They would survive relegation by the skin of their teeth! The Carling Cup stay was shorter, but only ended by drawing Manchester City so I won't lose too much sleep there. I can feel us winning one of these in the next few years, FA Cup looking most likely. [/url] and As you can see, it's a fairly big squad and we will need to trim it, particularly in the CM areas. We've even got an England international now, as Chris Barkus picked up his first cap against the Netherlands. Defensive-wise the trio of Suleiman-Barkus-Makela formed the core, with full-backs changing around with injuries. Generally McKeown was first choice, but Hunt has really come on (due to McKeown missing 2 of the first 3 months) and had a great year. Marchal will probably be let go. There's some tough decisions in midfield to make, at least two CMs need to go and we have too many strikers in truth. In the end, the goals spread quite nicely throughout the team with Young, McMaster and Kaalund scoring 10+. Schilder will need to do a little more, while I liked Russo's play despite 1 PL goal. Key Players Maurin Makela - A very, very solid CB, another fantastic season at just 21. Benny Kaalund - It was wonderful to see the Danish forward kick on and make the DLF role his own - sadly a 5 month injury slowed him after January. Callum McMaster - Could be a massive player in future years, adapted very very quickly. Phil Hunt - The only Brit to arrive last season, that £1m fee looking a huge bargain now. Hopefully he and McKeown can be my fullbacks for years and years. Young Prospects Joe McKeown (YP7) - A good PL player already at 18, still has 2* of PA to fill. Future England star in my eyes. Marc Powell (YP8) - Feel I haven't really bothered giving Marc gametime, he's developed alright in the U18s but needs first team football. Ahmad Ameobi (YP9) - Ronnie McAuley can't cut the Premier League, so I get a youngster with 4.5* PA just like him. Beauuuuuuutiful! Next Season There's no need for big changes for once...just small ones to edit a good squad. I feel like we could use one good CB, LB, CM and ST, so pretty much further strengthen the core and I'll be happy. I've found a great English CM and a South African CB, but come Day 1 of the new seasons I'm still hunting for the other two. Still, there's plenty of money in the bank despite me having to hand £30k+ contracts to some players needing extensions, so we'll see what happens! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round | |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | |2017/18 | League One | 5th | Lost Play-off Semi; FA Cup 4th Rd, JPT Quarters, C1C 1st Rd| |2018/19 | League One | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Winners, C1C 3rd Rd, FA Cup 2nd Rd | |2019/20 | Championship | 6th | Promoted via Play-Offs; FA Cup 3rd Rd, C1C 1st Rd | |2020/21 | Premier League | 11th | Survival! FA Cup Semi-Finalists, C1C 3rd Rd | |2021/22 | Premier League | 7th | FA Cup Quarter-Finals, C1C 3rd Rd | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  4. Canvey Island - 2020/21 - Premier League That's right - Canvey Island are Premier League. But for how long? After back-to-back promotions, I'm the first to admit the squad will need some work. And what of Ryan Plowright, David Reid and Ronnie McAuley, the remnants from our first season in the Blue Square Premier, will they get much game-time? I guess we have to find out. Oh, and the money. There's going to be a lot of money... Transfers The main thing I noticed was the lack of British PL talent in our price (well, wage) range. This was a tad disappointing - I remember on FM11 with Bournemouth in the Prem, being able to get a few young British players on around £8k a week, here anyone event remotely decent is demanding £20k a week. Well, except the players we already own. As a result, young RB/CM Phil Hunt was the only Brit joining, and that was from a League One side. Young Greek CM Parasidis was next - we were a little light in this area for the Prem so I made strengthening it a priority. He's by far our biggest signing thus far, but should be worth it. Next came a double Argentine swoop - both having been released from French clubs. Bastos is a brilliant looking right-winger who should finally be the one to displace Plowright, Donda is a great DM who I will train at CM as well. Gerhardsson would join to boost LB options (allowing the disappointing Leonardo to exit), but would funnily enough be moved on in January after just a few games - he started moaning about 5 games into the season about only playing 2/5 games, we had a big falling out, he barely played again. Tunca and Suleiman are both young German talents - the former a left-back released by Stuttgart who would go on to displace Gerhardsson, Suleiman a GK who would act as competition for Ireland. Makela is a great young French CB who is at a similar level to Barkus, while Kaalund was a Peter Whittingham signing. The Danish AM/ST will add competition to our strikers - I'm pretty pleased I didn't need to displace my current striking quartet. Erik Hysen was agreed in July before I realised his contract wouldn't be up until December - his entrance was timely as we had a lot of midfield injuries at the end of December. Premier League (11th) [/url]We wanted survival, and we got it! In rather nice fashion too, a good 12 points safe and sat in the mid-table. If anything, it rather flatters us after a pretty horrible start. Here's the wiggly line chart for some proof... We started abysmally. Perhaps this was my fault and I let attachments to players get to me - Plowright started the season on the wing for example, despite his 2* (soon to be 1.5*) rating, and I stuck to the same old 4-4-2 home and away with the regular tweaks. We scored 3 on the opening day at home to Blackburn, but would concede 4. We then went to lose four in a row, before a much needed home win over Wigan for our first Premier League points. We wouldn't win again for 6 games and nearly 2 months - I think the fact we came into the season with very ok morale didn't help us at all, it meant as soon as we hit a bad run we were in dire straits. Next year I need to pay more attention to that and get everyone good or better before Day 1. Back to that much needed 2nd win. It was only a brilliant 2-0 victory at home to Liverpool! Sure, the Reds were flagging at the time and had recently sacked Stolbakken, but a win against a big team is always well received. This was a big turning point. We lost the next game 2-1 at Man Utd, but then went on an 8 game unbeaten run! This started with a 2-0 win at Derby, followed by 5 draws in a row. We followed this was a fantastic victory at Arsenal, and another close win at Blackburn which started to lift us well away from the fringes of the relegation zone (these were games 19 and 20 if I remember rightly!). The secret to our good form had been the fact we were fairly sturdy at the back compared to many others in the league - we would end the season with a very narrow negative goal difference, and after the poor start rarely conceded more than twice a game. As a newly promoted team, to concede just 45 goals in 38 games is great. The back four remained fairly stable - McKeown at RB, Barkus as RCB, Marchal started at LCB before being displaced by Makela, while Tunca and Selefen shared LB. Danny Ireland started the year in goal, but I soon decided that if we're getting humped, I may as well give an 18-year-old with 5* potential a go. Suleiman thrived, has gone from 2* CA to 3.5* CA and ended up with a lot of clean sheets, he's going to be a great player. Our form was pretty solid from this point - we won games, we drew games, we lost a few. That 8 game run had stabilised us in the league and we didn't look afraid of anyone after that - with 0-0 draws against Chelsea and Man Utd to come later in the season. It was a great first year and even matching this next season would do me. Cups (FA Cup Semi-Finalists, Capital One Cup 3rd Round) I'll start with the earliest cup competition. We beat Boro 3-2 at home to record our first win of the season, but a disappointing 2-1 loss at Wolves summed up our season at that stage. Things would perk up in January cup-wise, as we went on a brilliant FA Cup run all the way to the semi-finals! We'd drawn a difficult-seeming tie against Liverpool in Round 3, but the Reds visited us with terrible morale and a reserve side. We easily led 2-0, but let it slip in just 10 minutes. Thankfully, David Reid was in the mood, belting one home from 25 yards to put us into Round 4! We drew West Brom, a Championship side who we had shared the play-offs with last season. You could definitely tell we were a much better side in this meeting, with Makela heading us in front and Burke doubling the lead minutes later, we eased our way to Round 5. We had a trip to Championship side Palace, another team on poor morale. However, they had poor morale when they came to play us in the league last season and won 2-1, so I was wary! It turns out with good cause - with Diego Bustos put us 1-0 up with our first shot, by 70 minutes we were 2-1 as Palace battled back. I told the guys to go for it late on, and they did so with style. Richard Burke fired a levelled, he was then hauled down in the box for Martin Dalton to slam home the resultant penalty, before Makela made sure with a header. We drew Cardiff away in the Quarters, a team 3rd in the Championship and no doubt looking to avenge their Play-Off Semi-Final defeat to us last season. They wouldn't get the chance, as we edged a narrow game 2-1. Well, Richard Burke's 89th minute goal did help a fair bit. We got Sunderland in the Semis, a team we had beaten this season and who were below us in the table. However, we just didn't show up, and it was a very disappointing game to lose. Squad 1 and Squad 2 As you can see, a lot of midfielders but we did utilise 5 in midfield a lot this year. Despite the poor start, we were strongest at the back, the main 3 CBs all having strong seasons with the full-backs pitching in well. I wouldn't expect a great deal of change here next season. In midfield there will be - as you can see several players are not good enough for this level and sadly most of them are British. It may seem a lot of CMs but Dalton spent half the season injured and Rodwell just didn't get to play - either not good enough or injured when we would have needed an extra body! Our wingers rotated well between Bustos/Young/Abdalas, while the strikers didn't really get going until half-way. McAuley was injured for the first 3 months and did well after coming back, and despite playing well you can see this isn't quite his level. Still, he'll stay on next year, as will Reid. Hesp is off, perhaps Kaalund too who was quite a flop in the end. Burke is still our main man but he too had half an off-year until December. Key Players Yemi Suleiman - The young German stopper has really enamored himself to me, he's grown brilliantly as the season went on. Definitely our number 1, aged just 19. Chris Barkus - Solid as ever from the English CB. Could still become "Leading Premier League" potential apparently, lets hope he does and keeps leading us on. Tasos Parasidis - Very solid first season for our Ball Winning Midfielder. By far our best CM at present. Diego Bustos - Diego started slowly but really picked up, one of the first names on the team-sheet now. Martin Dalton - Came back from injury to become Parasidis' main CM partner. Not bad for a man who cost £35k! Youth Players Now that we finally seem to be producing some decent talent, I'll keep you informed of their progress! Joseph McKeown (YP7) - Not the best seasons from Joe, but I should remember he's only 17 and it's the Premier League. He just needs to keep growing as he is and soon the international team will be taking notice. Marc Powell (YP8) - Marc looks like he could do a job in this division, he's a Deep-Lying Forward which is a favourite choice of mine. Got some playing time at the end of the season. Next Season We ended the year with a whopping £49m in the bank - soon cut to £32m after the stakeholders got their hands on some of it. Still, that's pretty phenomenal for a team that was in the red last season after some stadium developments! Speaking of...there's another 2,400 seats coming in, to take us just shy of 15,000. Sadly I think this is going to be us maxed out now in the Canvey Island Stadium - it was only built 3 years ago. Considering we were pulling 20k regularly at Fossett's Farm this year, the stadium is already woefully small and we're going to have it at least another 17 years...damn board! Ah well, they've agreed to improve the training and youth facilities, as well as getting us an Irish and Northern Irish feeder club. We're beginning to establish ourselves as a club, now we need to ensure we stabilise on the pitch. I head into the market, looking to fight off second season syndrome... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round | |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | |2017/18 | League One | 5th | Lost Play-off Semi; FA Cup 4th Rd, JPT Quarters, C1C 1st Rd| |2018/19 | League One | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Winners, C1C 3rd Rd, FA Cup 2nd Rd | |2019/20 | Championship | 6th | Promoted via Play-Offs; FA Cup 3rd Rd, C1C 1st Rd | |2020/21 | Premier League | 11th | Survival! FA Cup Semi-Finalists, C1C 3rd Rd | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  5. Canvey Island - 2019/20 - Championship We're nearing the big time now, as for the first time Canvey Island have reached English football's second tier. Wage demands may be up by a good few thousand, but so is the quality (and scope) of the talent interested in joining the Gulls this season. The owner has finally relinquished and allowed me to scout the bounties of Europe. Our squad had been very good next season, but would need improving for the Championship. Would we cope? Transfers It was to be another busy Summer at Canvey Island, as the step up brought in a lot of new talent. It wasn't for a while that the good foreign talent would reveal itself, so we had to do some digging at home. That's not to say there was slim pickings; Chris Barkus joined on a free from Watford, an already experienced Championship defender at 21 and in the England U-21 squad, he would be a key CB for us. Jordan Cousins felt a little bit of a panicked signing (hello, Javan Vidal) but I needed some more competition at RB at this stage to Dacres-Cogley and Morgan (both who would then depart by the end of the summer window). Phillip Sly had caught my eye for Torquay in League One, the Welshman deemed a better winger than Plowright, who now with just 2* CA/PA seemed to have hit his ceiling, I needed competition in case he couldn't hack it. We struggled for a bit in July, until deals finally started coming off. Fornetti was a find of my Director of Football (Peter Whittingham!), however would be sent back after just a game - yes he was good, but we had 4 good strikers under contact and I'd rather play them instead. One of those players was Tommy Hesp, the Welsh international signed after being released from Tranmere to add competition to Burke, Reid and McAuley. Daniel Ormsby had been yo-yoing between League One and League Two with Swindon, but the CM looked more than good enough for this level. Driss Abdalas represented my first foray into the foreign signings market, the former Lyon youngsters is a natural at DM, LM, CM, AML and AMC, and damn good in each position. Franck Selefen comes in with similar CA to Cousins, but a 4.5* PA which could seem him play in the role for many years to come. The final signing came shortly after deadline day - after months of negotiation, finally we got former Anderlecht youngster Michel Marchal to accept a cheap deal. The Belgian CB completed our short CB options. Championship (6th, Promoted via Play-Offs) It was a mixed start, as it often seems to be at Canvey Island in August. Ronnie McAuley handed us an opening day victory over Millwall, however we then lost the new two to show this league wouldn't be a stroll. Well ok, we did go on a good run after that, losing just once in about 10 games (annoyingly enough to Southampton, who then offered me the job...rejected of course!), we climbed slowly to just outside of the play-off places, no real intensity fighting for promotion but it was nice to see us hanging in there. The best thing about us this season was our ability to score, the crowning moment coming in December when we put 7 past Doncaster on their own turf! And yes, that's Ryan Plowright, David Reid and Ronnie McAuley still doing it in the Championship. From the start of December to the start of February, we won 8 of 11 league games, some simply phenomenal form. The 3 non-wins were draws too, this really helped and lifted us high in the play-offs. Automatic promotion looked too far away - West Ham were running away from it, although we did lead them 5-1 at half-time at one stage! We'd go on to beat them 6-3, our highest scoring game to date in my Canvey career. We stuttered for the next few months - even falling out of the play-off places with just a few games to go after not taking full points against soon-to-be-relegated Leeds and Bolton, and losses to teams around us. Things thankfully turned with 3 games to go - we won 3-2 at Forest, then won our final two home games convincingly against Doncaster (4-1) and Bradford (4-2). With Brighton dropping points at last, we jumped above them to finish 6th and enter the lottery of the play-offs. We drew Cardiff, who missed out on automatic promotion by just a point. We led 2-0 early at home, but with Driss Abdalas getting sent off we lost our grip and had to accept a 2-2 draw. We went defensive away from home - reverting to the 4-1-4-1 I'd used a lot in the early half of the season, and despite falling 1-0 down at half-time it worked! Richard Burke levelled, Ronnie McAuley put us ahead and Stephen Young sealed a memorable 3-1 away win to put us into the Play-Off Final! We drew Norwich, who had finished the year in 5th position. We stuck with the 4-1-4-1, playing a cautious, counter-style game in front of 89,000 fans at Wembley. For 77 minutes, they weren't watching a good game, as ourselves and Norwich very very tentatively went at it. That was until Chuks Aneke got on the ball 20 yards out, slamming it home to put us ahead! Daniel Ormsby popped up late on to see us win 2-0 and gain promotion to the Premier League! It's very surprising to see us make the step up so quickly, but we gained form at the right time, winning 5 of our final 6 games, and that's what mattered. Ronnie McAuley also hit his 100th Canvey Island goal against Cardiff, so we ended with a new nice records and the top tier to look forward to! I was named Manager of the Year, while young Irish striker Richard Burke was the league's Young Player of the Year. The Squad 1 and The Squad 2[/url] Another excellent year for the team. I was surprised to see Danny Ireland make the step-up so well, and to see Charni Ekangamene play so many games. Barkus and Marchal were a wonderful CB pairing, and Selefen came on a lot, soon he's been a natural at LB too. Ryan Plowright adapted brilliantly; 13 assists in the Championship to his name and over 250 league appearances for the club. Martin Dalton is a great player now, he partnered well with Ormsby and Aneke - the Nigerian was fantastic until a 2 month injury, at which point he slacked until the Play-Off final. Sly disappointed but Abdalas and Young were brilliant wingers. The strikers all pitched in, although Hesp usually fell behind the other 3 so didn't play as much. Reid, McAuley, Burke, all great seasons. Key Players Chris Barkus - Quality CB. Showed Watford were very wrong to let him go for nothing, will be a key CB in the Premier League and should only improve! Richard Burke - Burke is getting very good now, scoring at well over a goal every 2 games. Still has 5* PA so could lead the line all the way to the top. Ronnie McAuley - Who else? Another quality season for Ronnie, onto 100 Canvey goals and 90 for us in the league. Only 2.5* CA/PA now but he can score in the top league. Future Star? Joe McKeown (YP7) - A brilliant youth product! 2* CA and 5* PA, I won't need to buy a main choice RB for a long, long time. Played every game since appearing in the youth team in March. Next Season The Premier League brings the bevvy of riches we've been waiting for - £59m to come our way in TV rights, which will massively boost our bank balance. The board immediately spent £6m adding more seats to the stadium, which means we go back to Fossett's Farm for most of next season. Should work out well - we only had around 8,000 fans turning up to it in the Championship, we should be filling much more of the 22,000 seater stadium in the Premier League. I've also got the board to increase our Youth Recruitment net, so more chance of quality youngsters next year. We've even got a feeder club now (Bohemians from Ireland) and can scout worldwide, we're definitely getting toward the big time. Seems some teams are certainly noticing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round | |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | |2017/18 | League One | 5th | Lost Play-off Semi; FA Cup 4th Rd, JPT Quarters, C1C 1st Rd| |2018/19 | League One | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Winners, C1C 3rd Rd, FA Cup 2nd Rd | |2018/19 | Championship | 6th | Promoted via Play-Offs; FA Cup 3rd Rd, C1C 1st Rd | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  6. Canvey Island - 2018/19 - League One After a very nice first season in League One, where we grew and grew as games went on before falling flat against Sheffield United in the play-offs, I felt just a few minor tweaks were needed to really battle for promotion. The spine of the side was very nice, with a few additions would we challenge as I had hoped? Transfers We aimed to get our summer business out the way early and I can say that we succeeded - things would get a little dicey of course on both deadline days! Burke was a long-agreed freebie from Sligo Rovers, who arrived with 5* PA and alleged "leading Premier League striker" potential. Leo Chambers' contract was up at the end of June and West Ham were kind enough to let us speak to him early for no fee, Man Utd weren't so kind for Martin Dalton, requesting we stump up £30k to get him before the rest of the 'last month' lookers got a look at him. Both are talents CB and DMs respectively, Dalton will be trained as a CM. Peter Whittingham, at age 33, was a perhaps surprising and uncharacteristic signing, but to be honest the main reason he joined is because he's also our Director of Football! Either way, he's versatile and not costing too much. Young was another long-planned signing, the winger adding to a position we were very lacking in. Rhodes joined as a back-up CB, while Graham acted as competition on the left for Young. At the end of the window, we made use of our Aussie contacts (Mark Viduka is our coach, albeit not a good one!) to snap up former Coventry man Danny Ireland to take the no.1 spot, with Aussie-Greek ST Macharidis adding competition up top. Ottaway came in after being released from Spurs' ranks - we didn't have any other AMCs so I felt he gave us options to try a different formation. On the last day of the window, I was surprised to see a bid for Stewart Curran come in from Sunderland, and have it accepted and him off to the North East before I could even react. Chuks Aneke had been without a club all year, I moved swiftly to beat Aberdeen to his signing as a like-for-like replacement, admittedly one lacking fitness! League One - 1st (Winners!) Well, it would turn out my hopes would come to fruition! We started slowly with 2 defeats in the first 5, then flew under the radar for quite a time despite great form. The reason being, we were until February at least 3 games behind the rest - as you might be able to guess, we were doing well in some cups and build up a back-log. Despite playing every 3-4 days for many months, the squad was never that tired, and got by on getting a day or so's rest at a time. As a result, I spent much of the season looking at where we'd be once we caught up - instead of hanging around 8th-12th, two wins of those 3 in hand would have us 2nd-3rd. In January we started our march - climbing into the play-offs, then taking the lead from rivals Southend! We held it for the rest of the year, despite a patchy spell where we just stopped scoring (timed with Curran's departure funnily enough). Our ability to avoid defeat was the key thing, we actually won less games than last season! Not the greatest total to win the big prize (only 5 points more than last year), but it was enough and we'll be Championship bound next season. For my troubles, I was named Manager of the Year, while winger Ryan Plowright stormed on to 225 league appearances and a 20+ assist season to be named in the Team of the Year. Cups (JPT Winners!, Carling Cup 3rd Round, FA Cup 2nd Round) At long last, some cup success! It may only be the JPT, but it will take pride of place in our silverware cabinet as the first trophy that isn't a league title. Funnily enough we probably deserved to go out in Round 1 to Brentford, didn't play that well and rested a lot of players, but we would go on to win all the penalty shoot-outs we competed in this season so I guess we're the Germany of League One! We strolled our ways to the semis, where we disappointingly lost late on in the first-leg to relegation-battling Colchester - we struggled to get a goal in the second leg until we threw the kitchen sink at them, loanee Brian Magill finally struck from range to take us to penalties again, and after a colossal slog we triumphed 6-5! We got Doncaster in the final, and I was delighted to see us triumph by 3 goals to 2! They went a goal up early on, but we looked much better and walked into a 3-1 lead. They scored late on to take some of the gloss away, but we would soon be lifting the trophy aloft inside Wembley Stadium so the last laugh was on us! With our promotion, it was great to win this trophy at what I hope will be our last opportunity to. The Carling Cup brought surprising success too - we beat fellow League One side Crawley with ease in Round 1, before pulling off a shock by defeating Premier League QPR on penalties. As you can see, we were 1-0 up when Richard Burke stupidly two-footed a QPR defender, which made the task all the more impressive. Yes, we'd let a 2-0 lead slip, but against a Premier League team with 10 men I don't have too many complaints. The shoot-out was a long one, with our guys scoring all of our 9 penalties, and QPR missing just one to hand us passage to Round 3. Again we fought hard, with Ronnie McAuley's late penalty taking us to extra time away to Premier League Wigan, but sadly they got a winner in the last 15 to send us home. In the FA Cup, we demolished Chelmsford 5-0 away in Round 2, but a meagre 2-1 defeat to Plymouth after leading. [/url] and We've had good strength across each position, particularly in midfield and attack. We could afford to use one man at the weekend, then another in midweek and not suffer which really helped us. All-in-all, a pretty pleasing squad, but there will need to be changes to adapt to the Championship. Key Players Ronnie McAuley - My favourite player at Canvey so far, just keeps doing the job even as the level increases. May soon be reaching a plateau but is just brilliant as DLF. David Reid - The boy's come good! David was poor our first two seasons in the Football League, so it was great to finally see him kick on and have a good season, he'll be a main striker in the Championship. Martin Dalton - Took a while to break into the team, but became a key player once he did. Hopefully can lead us to the Premier League from CM. Richard Burke - The young Irishman really impressed, had a great first season at just 17. Could go a long way for us. Looking Ahead I'd initially planned to release the likes of Ekangamene, Webb and Smith, but the board's decision to turn our ground into an all-seater stadium changed things a little. We went from being a little in the black to rather in the red, so I chose to keep these guys on for next season and then improve on the squad when we could. We'd had behind the scenes improvement in the year - the board increased our Youth Recruitment and also stumped out for Exceptional Junior Coaching. When the new season rolled over to 2019/20 we got £23k spare in the wage budget, so we do have some room to play with at least. And finally, I was delighted at this early stage of my career to become a Canvey Island legend. First time I've been able to get there so early! Next year the aim is to stay up, but of course if we can try and push towards play-offs like our first League One season I'd be pretty happy with that too! Career So Far ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round | |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | |2017/18 | League One | 5th | Lost Play-off Semi; FA Cup 4th Rd, JPT Quarters, C1C 1st Rd| |2018/19 | League One | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Winners, C1C 3rd Rd, FA Cup 2nd Rd | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  7. Canvey Island - 2017/18 - League One A surprise promotion has in League One...but will it be too soon? We're swimming with decent-sized fish now, Birmingham one of the teams to drop down from the Championship for example, along with Peterborough and Preston. It would turn out to be an event-filled season, that's for sure! Transfers Thought I'd start it a bit differently this update and summarise our new signings. In total we signed 14, which I didn't fully realise until now is rather a lot of change! Daniel Devine was out the door in January though after being pretty poor (and I must admit, a bit of a rush signing in June with limited options at the time). Dominic Samuel was similar, he's an AF which didn't help as I had two permanent players ahead of him in the pecking order. His loan was terminated in February - he went on to fire my beloved Pompey to promotion from League Two! Conway is a young Scottish CB arranged well back in January 2017, Morgan and Dacres-Cogley came in at RB to replace the departing Brister, Vidal and Tallack. We brought back a few of our League Two loanees on permanent deals, with Grant Smith joining from Brighton as our no.1 keeper, and Britt Assombalonga signing to be McAuley's DLF back-up. Solly March renewed his loan for another year to give us a good left wing option, while Leigh Reed was signed purely as CB cover. Alexander-Salmon provided a nice option at DLP. In January, we would look to spend, £60k on a natural LB/CB from Man Utd and £10k on a Sunderland CB who had had a few years out on loan but yet to be given a real go by anyone. Magill gave good back-up to the midfield, while Rodwell was a surprise signing in March who was more a look to next season, when he would be fully fit/up to speed after 9 months without a club. League One - 5th (Lost 4-3 on aggregate to Sheffield Utd in the Play-Off Semi-Finals) I'll say it now - we looked nowhere near good enough for 5th at the midway point at the season, but we really clicked in the season half of the season and with some fantastic form (no doubt would have been top 2 on that half season alone), we went on a fantastic run to climb into the play-offs, narrowly being edged by Sheffield Utd. We took a while to get comfortable, perhaps after a 4-1 victory on the opening day over Colchester we thought we'd be boinging up another division. Back down to earth we came - just one more league win came until October, as we flirted on the edge of the relegation zone. Ronnie McAuley's run of goals in 6 consecutive games helped stabilise us, back-to-back wins and then a 6 game unbeaten spell (3 wins, 3 draws) soon followed to have us climb back to 12th at the half-way point. This was pretty pleasing considering how we had looked, it seemed the new signings needed time to settle. Some patchy formed followed; 2 defeats, 2 wins, 2 defeats. Then we clicked. From late December, we went on a brilliant run, losing just 1 game in 12, included in that was a brilliant run of 9 wins in 10 games that saw us rocket from 13th to 6th position! Late goals were pretty key, we had a nice knack of hitting teams late on, one example being 2-0 down at Colchester, we hit one on the edge of half-time, an equaliser on 84 minutes before Chappell nodded home a 94th minute winner! Or perhaps Ronnie McAuley mugging Bradford of a point in the 95th minute after they had batted us away for most of the game. I changed assistant manager around this time (Frankie Bunn replaced the regen assman, with his 16/16 JPA/JPP he's a great man to have on board!) which I like to think helped the squad. For the last few games things were very tense, as 3rd-8th really bunched up. We lost at home to Fleetwood and drew at Hartlepool and Birmingham (who hilariously got relegated!), but recovered well with 3 wins in our final 4 to climb to 5th - I'd be expecting 6th at best, so that was a nice result to see. We went into the play-offs and I was disappointed to get Sheffield Utd, we'd never done well against them. They beat us 2-1 at home, thanks to a gutting 92nd minute winner. We fought well in the 2nd leg to draw 2-2 after being 2-0 down, but we were playing Overload for the final half hour to force that. I wasn't disappointed as over the whole season I don't think we were good enough, but if we can keep up our form from the season half of the season next year we'll be in with a chance of the automatic promotion places in my eyes. Cups (FA Cup 4th Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, J-Paint Quarters) Finally an FA Cup run! We'd always stuttered in Round 1, losing to Ipswich, Accrington and Sheffield Utd at this stage in recent years, so it was very nice to get non-league opposition in the form of BSP Grimsby and BSS Chelmsford as we strode to the 3rd round proper. Here came probably our biggest shock to date; a 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest after being a goal down. We were written off by huge odds but we came from behind for a fantastic win! Premier League Cardiff visited in the 4th round and we dismally fell 3-0 down at the break, bringing back bad memories of the 5-0 Ipswich defeat. We fought well and were 3-2 down with 10 minutes to go, hitting the bar near the death, so in the end we could feel proud. Carling Cup...less said the better, we just never look up for these games, out 2-1 at Watford after leading. We got another 1st round J-Paint bye, then beat rivals Southend on penalties. We disappointingly went out to League Two newcomers Kettering in the Quarters, but I guess our blushes are spared by the fact they won the tournament! [/url] and Big enough to be split over pages this season! We've got good strength at the back now, two solid RBs and LBs, it seems the new assman rates Ekangamene when the old one really didn't! Part of our form change-around was inspired by the partnership of Egan and Conway at CB, Egan really was a good signing and should lead us out the division. Chappell played a lot early on and was rated well, but fell a victim of the Irish and Scottish partnership. Hopefully Leonardo can kick on next year. Ryan Plowright continues on strong (now our leading appearance maker with 181 league games), playing pretty much every game and looking capable even at this level, although the Championship would seem too far for him! Rodwell only gave us a snippet of his talent, hopefully with a pre-season under his belt he'll be on fire. Curran and a mix of Alexander-Salmon/Webb formed our key CM partnership, while March started the season poorly but became a key man again during our good run of form. Up front, Jervis and McAuley again shone, even if McAuley isn't rather as that great a League One player (yet). David Reid really needs to kick-on while Assombalonga struggled with the step up. A very good League One squad all-in-all, that will only need slight changes. Key Players Steve Conway - The young Scottish CB took to League One well, will be a key part of any promotion push. Ronnie McAuley - Up another division and the 6'1" target man easily adapts, now the club's all-time top league goal-scorer with 55 goals! Stewart Curran - Commanded the centre of the park very nicely, had just gained his first Northern Irish cap in the off-season too. Next Season There's no real disappointment about missing out on promotion, instead optimism as the areas we need to improve are clear and thankfully, this season there are players of quality willing to sign. There won't be a great deal of new faces which works well for unity, and I think we'll have even less loanees in the first team this season (technically, last year we only had March as a regular player). With all our good players staying on we should be looking for play-offs again at a minimum. The stadium move is delayed until September so we get a few more months before saying bye to Park Lane, hopefully we go out on a high! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round | |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | |2017/18 | League One | 5th | Lost Play-off Semi; FA Cup 4th Rd, JPT Quarters, C1C 1st Rd| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  8. After leaving Manchester City in the summer of 2017, Jack Rodwell gained surprisingly little interest. A few small teams chased him, but Jack wasn't interested. However, come March 2018, now aged 27, the 5-time England international finally decided to give in, and sign one of those deals on offer. For the manager of League One Canvey Island, it was a pretty brilliant day!
  9. Canvey Island - 2016/17 - League Two So, good times have come to Canvey Island as we've reached the big, professional leagues. So we'll be playing the likes of Accrington rather than Stockport, Gateshead rather than Kidderminster. Small steps I guess (I joke, I joke!). League - League Two - 1st Well, that was a surprise! Despite a mixed start of low scoring draws, wins and the odd defeat, we really kicked on toward the end of September, took the League Two lead in October and held it for most of the season until we clinched promotion and the title with 2 games to go! I'd like to give myself some credit here, we were 2-0 down at home to Burton, but came back to trounce them 5-2. From this point onward we looked like a team capable of scoring anytime, before this we'd only scored one goal at most in a game! Enough of the big headed-ness. We could have absolutely stormed the title, but I don't believe the squad was good enough for that. I'm very surprised we were even in the promotion hunt, let alone leading it for most of the year (bar times when York, Bradford and Torquay lept ahead). What really helped us was no-one else seemingly wanting to go up, a lot of different teams occupied the top 3 over the season, and only 10 points separated 3rd to 17th. Only once in the past 5 seasons or so would a team have won a title with 82 points, in all other years they would have been promoted but in 3rd position, so I feel we lucked into things a little here. But hey, if you don't buy a ticket you don't win the raffle, we gave it a good go and despite a customary January slip (4 defeats in 5), we came back strong. Our away record was excellent the first half of the season and home average, this swapped in the second with a terrible away record and a brilliant home one. We barely won away after January until April, where we beat Fleetwood away 3-1 to take promotion, then a final day draw with Oldham sealed the title (we played a day after everyone else, knowing only a defeat by 12 goals would lose us the top spot! So onto League One we go... Cups (FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, J-Paint South Semi Final) Wycombe in the Carling Cup was our first game of the season, and I was dreading our year ahead as we meekly succumbed to a 3-1 defeat. Yes, they're a League One club, but I expected a little fight. Fight is certainly what I got against high-flying League One side Sheffield Utd, and really we deserved the win at Bramall Lane of any of the two teams. Sadly though they nicked a stoppage time winner, but we were happy to take home a big chunk of gate money... The J-Paint is where we actually had some success - perhaps getting a first round bye gave our players a boost? We had Millwall visit in round 2, at the time on a 10-match winning streak (well, 11 if you include their winning start in the J-Paint first round). The score? A resounding 3-0 crushing, David Reid would go on to have a pretty poor season in the league but he was on fire in the cup with a hat-trick! The great J-Paint form continued against an underachieving Swindon, at that time in the relegation zone. Again, a mix of reserves and main players dispatched them 3-0, with Reid topping the scorers charts with 4 goals in total. Bournemouth were next in the semi-finals -they would go on to be promoted from League One in the play-offs, they were just too strong, winning 2-0 on their patch. Still, this was a nice little run and hopefully it can translate into other competitions next year. Squad We made a couple of changes, releasing players not good enough for the football league, and finally being able to bring in some decent loanees! The only real transfer flop with Vidal - signed in a bit of a panic to ensure I had back-up for Brister, in the end Birchall deputised whenever Brister wasn't available to good effect. Everyone else was crucial, especially Curran who joined during an injury crisis and is set to be our main CM next season. Oh, and how could I forget Jake Jervis? Young Jake had scored 14 in two seasons for Cambridge, and started poorly here. He suddenly struck form with 9 in 6, then went on to hit a further 17 goals in the league to finish as the League Two Player of the Year! He also made Team of the Year, along with the solid Ekangamene (I don't think he was that great! Seeing as I dropped him for a spell) and the excellent Chappell (he really stood out at CB). It was a great squad effort overall to get promotion, pretty much everyone bar back-up keeper East got a nice bit of game-time, mainly due to a few injury crises (ESPECIALLY at CM, where I had 4 out at one point). There will be changes of course - most appearance man Davenport will be off, along with Vidal and perhaps even Brister. The rest will stay as with the loanees gone we won't have the deepest squad... Since I can't think of another category to fit this in, I won Manager of the Year for my troubles. Booyah. Key Players Jake Jervis - A fantastic season for a man who had never had a prolific year before. Lets hope he can adjust to League One! Bradley Chappell - Really took to League Two well, a great leader at the back. Ronnie McAuley - Ronnie struggled at first to impact as well as he had in the BSP, but came on from October onward and was a star partner for Jervis. Ryan Plowright - Ryan had another great year, his stamina is just fantastic. Always available and chipping in with assists, I hope he can step up too! Next Season Staying up is the obvious aim. Having a lot more trouble tempting new signings to the squad thus far, I've struggled to attract big new players, especially in midfield where I think we need a refresher. The loan market may need to bail me out again, but with increased revenue flows in this division it should halt the losses we had last year. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round| |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2016/17 | League Two | 1st | Champions; J-Paint Semis, FA Cup & Carling Cup 1st Round | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  10. Meandering along steadily in mid-table, not scoring many or conceding either...then score 10 in our next 3, win them all and go from 12th to 1st Also dumped Millwall out of the J-Paint 3-0, then realised they've won EVERY League One game so far (10/10). So no idea what's gone in the players' cornflakes in the past few weeks, but we've become phenomenal. I think it's mainly that there's a bit of confidence about us now - the goals didn't start flowing until we smashed 5 past Burton (all in the second half, after being 2-0 down), now they won't stop. Jake Jervis has gone from not being able to hit a barn door at first to scoring 9 in 6!
  11. Cheers guys! Makes it a bit more of a challenge I guess that I won't be bailed out by huge gate receipts once I get to the Prem! Although I guess all the prize money should be a nice leveller... Also, wish they would be at least a little more inventive with these stadium names. Any chance someone who has that in-game editor would mind taking a look at my save to tell me the ID number of the new stadium (once it's complete anyway!)? That way I can knock up a LNC file to rename it "The Dean Macey Community Stadium"
  12. Canvey Island - 2015/16 - Blue Square Premier After not doing any kind of review at the end of the last season (it *may* have had something to do with an agonising 2-1 play-off final defeat), I felt I should at least reveal how my third season at the helm of Canvey Island turned out. As it went, it was a pretty good one.... League - Blue Square Premier - 1st After narrowly missing out on a play-off triumph last year, having led 1-0 before falling to defeat, we made amends this season as we took the Conference title with just a game to spare! It looked to be another season battling near the top straight away, but we soon extended a gap at the top thanks to a 19 game unbeaten streak, of which 17 or 18 would have been in the league (as you'll soon hear, we were terrible in cup competition). We wobbled after Christmas as an injury crisis hit, going 6 games without a victory in all competitions (1 defeat, 5 draws!), however despite the advances of Stockport, Northampton and later Forest Green to put the pressure on us, we kept it up towards the end of the season thanks to a few massive results. We faced both Stockport and Northampton away in the final 8 games - winning at Stockport thanks to a late, late Doughty winner, and sharing the spoils with Northampton. This meant we could seal the title at Game 45 if results went our way - we dispatched relegated Cheltenham 3-0, with Northampton and Stockport failed to win meaning the title was ours with a game to spare! Since we gained the title lead in October we relinquished it just once (around March to Stockport, for one game), so we should great resolve to get ourselves into a winning position and hold on. 85 points won the title last season, it would have done so again this year but it was nice to see us top that. The main change this year was swapping defeats for draws - last year if I remember rightly we drew 9 and lost 15, this year drew 18 and lost 5 (as well as winning one more game). That extra solidity was key and helped us battle out a point where we would have got nothing last year. I feel bad for Stockport - they finished 2nd last year, and crumbled towards the end of the season this year having been our main competition for 90% of the season. At least Kettering didn't win the play-offs, who snuck into them for the first time on the final day! Cups - FA Cup (1st Round), FA Trophy (1st Round) Nothing to write home about here. We got past Margate 2-0 in the FA Cup 4th qualifying round, but then were humped 3-0 by Accrington Stanley (who are they?). The FA Trophy loss was worse really, going out to a BSS team who I can't even remember now! Aah well, for promotion I will take being ****-poor in the cups! The Squad Only a few signings had been made this season, mainly as talent was hard to come by. I made sure we at least spent wisely and got the best we could - Josh Webb was a great signing this year, as was Alex Brister. Corby Moore, Adam Nditi and Bradley Chappell joined during the season and will all be part of next year's squad. The key men for me were the ever-present Aaron Pierre at the back and the fantastic Ronnie McAuley up front. Just 18, built like a brick house and more than ready for league football - he joined from Billericay's youth system can you believe! We fought off attempts for his signature in January (at that time, he was non-contract, I splurged to keep him) from League One sides, which was crucial really. Ryan Plowright was another favourite, he played pretty much every game on the wing, had great fitness unlike some other members of my midfield. Rose (who did very well considering his age compared to the rest of the squad, and his ability), Day, Warburton and Tomlin definitely won't play a part next year - that means I'm looking at at least two LBs, a back-up RB, a back-up RM and also another LM as Doughty is going back to QPR. I will probably be letting McClure go too, so a third striker will be needed. Again we will have a small squad, but it copes well this season so I'm not overly worried. Next Season Main headline is that the management have decided (somewhat misguidedly, imo) to build a new stadium! around 7,800 seats in there, the poorly named "Canvey Island Stadium" will be done in 2 years. While it'll be nice to have a full-seater stadia, I can't help but feel we could have just put some seats in Park Lane and been fine here until we got to the Championship. We're bringing in less than 2,000 already so there's no great demand for a bigger stadium yet. At most that new stadium will expand to what, 20,000? If we do climb the leagues that will be too small by the time we reach the Prem! Oh well, such is life...at least there's only £9k/month repayments! Finally we have gone Professional too - no more non-contract players! That will safe the frustrating of non-league sides consistently trying to buy my decent players. It will increase costs but it's necessary if we're going to plan to head further up the pile. Career Review ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |Season | League | Position | Cups and Other Notables | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |2013/14 | Blue Square Bet South | 1st | Champions; FA Cup 4th Qual Rd, FA Trophy 1st Round | |2014/15 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 4th | Lost Play-Off Final, FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 3rd Round| |2015/16 | Blue Square Bet Premier | 1s | Champions;FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  13. Not at all sure the last time Canvey Island kicked a ball under my stewardship, but I'm pretty sure it was 2012...regardless, I'm back at the helm, continuing on our fight to rise the leagues in my third season in charge. Since it seems I never posted about it, I thought I'd confirm we had a very strong first season in the Blue Square Premier, finishing 4th thanks to the many goals of Gavin Tomlin! Sadly we lost in the play-off semi-finals, so no promotion to the football leagues just yet. A few signings were made over the off-season, and despite having a very small core squad (only around 20 players in the first team, no reserves) in order to manage costs and ensure we are paying for talent, not just filler, we're sitting top of the pile just after the mid-way point. We had a lovely long unbeaten run until Ebbsfleet recently burst our bubble (at least 15 league games), form has stuttered since with a lot of draws and disappointing exits from the first round of both the FA Cup and FA Trophy. Still, being out of those competitions should see us in good stead to fight for promotion. We need to keep up the heat, and more importantly stave off injuries. For the last few games, I've had to promote poor U18 players into the first team as we weren't filling the bench. I'll be delighted once we go professional - having teams constantly trying to sign my non-contract players is becoming quite the chore!
  14. Do Cov have a secret cup final that no-one knows about next weekend? Like you said Gman, they just weren't up for this game at all. Eastwood and Agyemang were fantastic, having to eat a lot of humble pie with regards to the former. Some brilliant saves and his distribution, especially in the second half, was excellent.
  15. Oh winning, it's been a while