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My Story by Lee Rothery

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OCTOBER 2017

Well ever since I handed out a few fines and changed my tactics we have never looked back, we haven't just beaten teams but we have blown them apart in some games, it's very pleasing to see and I just hope it can continue.

Here is the league now, it looks much more healthier for us:

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Here are the results:

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2 hours ago, Keano16 said:

Looking good now.:thup:

Cheers mate, yeah I was too attacking I think with playing a 4123, now I'm playing a 352 shape and it seems to be paying off, however we have Westerlo next which is a huge game, if we can win that it will look much better, lose it and I think we may just need to plug away for a playoff place but we'll do all we can. I've never once this season been able to play my 1st choice 11 due to injuries!

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Posted (edited)

NOVEMBER 2017

The game against Westerlo was a cagey affair, both teams gave nothing away so a draw was a fair result however my side really let me down in our most recent game, against  Virton we were cruising to a comfortable home win and went in at the break two goals to the good however, in the second half we capitulated and somehow lost 3-2!

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Here is the league:

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Edited by LEEMOD

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DECEMBER 2017

This month has gone fairly well although I was shocked that we lost to Antwerp , I was actually linked to their vacant manager role not so long ago as well which adds a little sting in the tail but in this game Zahibo who has not stopped scoring got injured in this game with a sprained ankle, his injury issues seems to be an issue, I will have to monitor this because even though he is a superb striker we can't afford to pay him his wages and not see him play as regularly as I would like.

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The league is looking this at the moment, I am very surprised at Hoogstraten, they were a team I identified at the start of the season to be well up there but they have been poor and indeed Tienen have been the surprise package this season so far, I am confident we can catch them however, we need to score more goals, our goal difference of +14 is not really good enough compared to the top two. 

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We now have a winter break so it's likely we'll play a few friendlies for fitness but the most disappointing news contract wise is Owen Maertens does not want to talk to us about a new deal so looks like we will be losing him in the summer of 2018, I am gutted, he is by far away our best midfielder:

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JANUARY 2018

Before I show you the league and results for January just a quick word on a few changes to the squad. First up, we had the issue of Maertens not willing to sign a new deal, I offered him out in the January window for £0 +20% of next sale, I figured we were going to lose him anyway so why not try and get a future payment for him, Hoogstraten came in for him so off he went. Meanwhile, I have also agreed pre-contract deals for three players who will join on the 1st July but I will tell you about those later. 

The month itself was not great at all, against Hoogstraten we were 2-0 up at half time and once again we took our foot of the gas and the performance in Brugges was just shocking, we were absolutely awful in defence, they could have scored more. It was nice to end the month with a big win but WS Bruxelles are nothing more than cannon fodder in this division. 

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In the league it's very much as we were, we're still within touch for that second spot:

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FEB 2018:

The month has been terrible, we picked up just the two points and I am pulling my hair out at how frustrating it has been watching my side fall apart, it has been a common theme this season, we are simply conceding way too many goals:

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In the league we're falling away now behind the top teams and next up we have a tough trip to Olympic Charleroi the team just below us which looks like it will be a big ask!

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MAR 2018

Ordinarily the results in March would not make good reading however when you consider we played away to two top teams in Westerlo and Olympic Charelroi it hasn't been too bad and we keep our 4th place intact and this seems to be our level at the moment. 

I have signed a very exciting striker who will be joining in the summer who you'll get to see later on but I think he is a perfect fit for us. 

The top 3 go through to the playoff so there isn't much for us to play for other than that 4th spot so all we can do is end the season as strong as possible and look to regroup come the summer:

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Posted (edited)

APRIL/MAY 2018

All I can say is thank God the season is over, we had a terrible run to the end of the season, whilst 5th place is not a bad finish in the grand scheme of things, I feel we have gone backwards in a lot of ways, we're shipping way too many goals and that will be my immediate priority come pre-season. 

This summer is going to be a huge rebuild job as I really need to improve us for next season, I was untouchable according to my board but now I am only stable so I can see the cracks already appearing. 

Here are the remaining results and league:

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On top of this, I am unable to agree new deals for some players due to our budget constraints so it's going to be a tough pre-season I fear. 

Edited by LEEMOD

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2018/19 Pre-Season

Well, what an incredibly busy summer we have had, as I intended to I had a huge summer clear out and did a lot of business, with practically half a new squad coming in to bolster us in key areas, this is the business we did:

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I won't show you all the players but here are what I consider to be our best players we've managed to bring in:

JESSY KELLER - 1ST CHOICE RIGHT BACK

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MATTHIEU BERNARD - WILL BE 1ST CHOICE TO PARTNER SERVAIS AT CENTRE BACK

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SACHA MICHIELS - PRIMARILY AN AMC BUT CAN ALSO PLAY MC, WONT FIT INTO MY NEW 442 BUT WILL WHEN WE GO 352

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Pre-season was fine, I will now sort out all our individual training in preparation for the season and get going, in terms of the teams to watch out for this season I think Oostende, Dessel, Lommel United & Virton all have excellent squads and could all be in with a shout, I just hope we can hit the ground running, for some reason the media think we're going to struggle this season but with the additions we have made I somehow don't see that but hopefully I am correct. 

 

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Spoiler

 

 

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018

It's not been a bad season at all so far, we did lose to Mouscron which was disappointing as they're not a great team but I am pleased with the start we have made. Tactically we have been tinkering quite a bit but I think I have settled now on a counter 4231 shape but we'll see how it goes:

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Here is the league:

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We also signed a new midfielder, I say new, he did actually used to play for us some years ago, he looks excellent technically but his lack of determination does concern me but I couldn't say no to those stats:

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OCTOBER 2018

Well, what a month it has been for us, I was so shocked at how well we did, to beat Lommel & Oostende back to back is a towering achievement and despite the loss to Boussu it's been a superb month which leaves us top of the league. Sacha Michiels has been incredible for us as an Advanced Playmaker just behind my DLF. The most pleasing thing is the quality of chances we are creating have got so much better. For example, against Antwerp we created 10 clear cut chances!

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NOVEMBER 2018

The month has been very encouraging as we picked up 7 points to keep us just top above Hoogstraten who funnily enough we play against next, looking at the league this could be a HUGE result for us should we beat them, however, we have to remember they have my best ex midfielder Owen Maertens so I imagine that's how they have punched above their weight this term. 

The most pleasing thing is against both Patro Eisden & Roselare we won both games from losing positions and we've shown a lot of grit to get back into games. 

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DECEMBER 2018

Our home form has been awful this month with back to back defeats however we did manage two superb away wins which now leaves us 2nd just behind heavy favourites Oostende. I can hardly complain as this was never on the cards at any stage. My most pleasing news to report is that we have managed to convince Denteener & Dethier to sign new deals which is huge news for us. 

Elsewhere, the board continue to annoy me, I have asked them now maybe 7 or 8 times to improve the training facilities but once again I'm met with a brickwall, it's getting frustrating as I feel our players are unable to develop as quick as I would like which could hold us back.

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Posted (edited)

JAN 2019

Just the 4/9 points this month, again it's a little disappointing which has actually lead me to another tinker of the tactics once more as we go with a 532 rigid system, we tried it against Sint Niklaas and we looked good as we played most of the game with 10 men.

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It's so tight now at the top any number of teams are in with a chance so we need to keep applying pressure as best we can:

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Edited by LEEMOD

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FEB 2019

It has been a superb month for us and the last gap winner against Lommel Utd resulted in chaotic scenes on our bench as that goal could prove to be critical come season end. We have looked so much more assured at the back and it's a weakness we have vastly improved upon. 

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MARCH 2019

March has been a bit of a bumpy ride but we have managed to fight back to regain our 1st place position even despite those two awful results, it's all to play for now though, just look how tight things are in the league now!

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END OF SEASON RUN IN 

Results have been so so poor but this time we have managed to enter the promotion playoffs mini-league so my next update will be after we have completed those games. 

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MAY 2019

I cannot fault my players at all, it's been such a gruelling season but we did so well to get so far, in the end we were a whisker away from going up, in the playoff group we just finished 2nd and because we somehow managed to beat OH Leauven all we had to do was to overcome Liege but we couldn't do it, had we beat them we would have gone up as it comes down to face to face. 

Anyway, here were the final results and playoff league:

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Here are my squad stats for the season 2018-19

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2019-20 PRE-SEASON

As we did last year we've had another sizeable clear out whilst managing to keep what I think are our best players, my only one regret is letting my Zimbabwean striker Mashinya leave the club but with what I have brought in I think we'll be more than fine. Before I show you my new players for the new season this is the business we did:

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I think we have done really well to recoup a decent fee with the sale of hot prospect Bielen, he is a great young player but he doesn't really have the attributes I like so to get that money and also 20% of his next sale offers us a good return I feel.

Let me show you the pick of my new signings:

STAN CARLIER - without a doubt my 1st choice striker, he has been superb pre-season and I can't wait to see him in action, I think he is one of the best players we've had since I have been here:

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DENNIS CLAEYS - Despite him being a right midfielder, he is going to be playing in the centre of midfield for me, his attributes suggest he can play there and he's a pretty good all rounder.

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VIC WILLEMS - We are playing with two shadow strikers this season and this guy is 3rd in the pecking order just behind Dethier but he will see plenty of game time, he's fast, composed and can dribble too so I am hoping he can find his feet at our club

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AARON MARX - Looks to be a really good player and yet again will fill in to one of my 2 central midfield positions, really good mentals and physicals and his passing/tackling is very good for this level, he played in the division above last season for Westerlo. 

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Pre-season has gone really well, we got some excellent results against teams from the top league in Belgium, we drew 1-1 with Mons and then smashed Lokeren and this I hope will give us confidence heading into the new season. 

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AUG/SEP 2019

It's been a very good start to the season for us and we're well in contention with the top boys in this league, we did have a mini wobble but 3 wins on the spin has catapulted us into 4th spot, it's no surprise to see Westerlo top of the league, they're going to be the ones we need to beat I feel. 

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It's really tight which is no surprise but as long as we keep up with the teams setting the pace I'll be pleased:

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OCTOBER 2019

It's been quite a difficult month for us but the win against Dessel was superb, it was such an open game and could have been 10-10 but we got the points and that's all that matters. We're now 2nd behind Westerlo as predicted, little gaps are now appearing in the table but it's early to say who's going to be in with a shout just yet.

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NOV 2019

It's actually been a good month and I believe the losses were down to bad luck, against Westerlo we had a silly red card after 1 minute so we were always destined to lose that one and against Virton I was so angry, the referee should be banned, amazingly, he disallowed 3 goals for us! Absolutely shocking. Thankfully we're still there but now only 4 points divide 2nd and 8th place.

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DEC 19

A really poor month, we can't be losing games in this manner, we were poor but somehow teams keep beating one another and we're still in the mix, the league is crying out for a team to take the bull by the horn but so far no one has done.

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January 2020

Over the festive period I have managed to sign a few key players to new deals, I felt it invaluable if we're to push on as a club, all this is despite the board still rejecting my pleas for better training facilities, I suppose it makes sense given we're part timers but something needs to be done because the only option I have for our younger players is playing them in the 1st team and it concerns me that this may impact on results. 

Over this period I have also signed a new left back, it was and still is our weakest area in the team but he's on cheap enough wages and comes in as our number 1, we signed him from Hoogstraten:

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Results have gone really well, I was gutted for the lads against Cercle Brugge, they got a 92nd min penalty and in fairness it was the correct decision. We're currently 2nd in the form table and we're playing excellent football and as you can see the gap in the top teams is now slightly getting wider.

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Also, I found this interesting, this is the salary per annum table, I am gobsmacked at how much Westerlo ***** on wages, given the profile of the club it's a testament to us that we're not far off from them:

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FEB 2020

It's been such an excellent month for us, yes we lost to Boussu but other than that slight blip we've blown teams apart with our direct passing from midfield and the movement up top. There's definite cracks now appearing in the league and it's looking increasingly like a three horse race to the title but we're going to need Westerlo to slip up soon. We do actually play them at home on the 4th of April which looks like a crunch match!

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LEAGUE CONCLUSION

Well, we lost 4 games in a row somehow which ended any hope of going up as champions! We have rallied strongly to end the season on a positive but now we enter the playoffs for the 2nd time in a row and again we're going to face OH Leuven who last year were awesome and walked the playoff league, to see such a good team be here again really does make me worry about how much we're going to struggle should we go up. All we can do is take one game at a time and give it all we have.

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My next update will be after the playoff league has finished. 

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PLAYOFFS

Well, once again we finish where we did last year, just behind OH Leuven in the playoffs, fair play to them and I can't really fault us, we gave it all we had but in the end that extra bit of quality showed, we really need to get out of this division if we're to progress because I think it's the only way we're going to be a full time club by going up to the top division!

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PRE-SEASON 2020-21

Well, during the off season we lost a fair few fringe players leave the club which we won't miss but it did leave our squad thread bare. Prior to the window I had decided to only buy a few senior players but then pepper my squad with as much high potential youth as possible. It's amazing what you can do with them given game time, this showed when we were batting away offers from higher teams for my 16 year old wing back Junior Zola, it's likely I will sell him as I reckon I could get 80-100k for him which hopefully I can re-invest in facilities, I keep saying it but it's the one thing missing here.

Anyway, let me introduce my new signings in order of significance:

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Daniels is a class centre back for this level, his attributes are so well rounded and better still he can fill in as left wing back too and his PPM's suit this better actually, crossing of 11 for a wing back is unheard of in this division!

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Albertaini is one of our most highly paid players and again it's at centre back where I felt we needed most TLC and this guy looks a class act, playing for struggling RFC Liege he played well for them and he stood out like a sore thumb playing for them. He's strong yet quick and again is solid in most departments. 

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Claeys looks the real deal to me, just 18 years old but he looks like the kind of player who could unlock defenders with his technique, flair, his passing, composure and creativity of 11 are excellent for his age, his physicals need work but he could be a real prospect in a few years to come, he will also get a lot of game time to aid his development.

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Gutierrez is somewhat of a gamble, my scouts were warning me about his injury proneness but I think if I can manage him carefully he could be an excellent addition, he is not ready yet but again due to our poor facilities he will get games as much as we can allow, he is a great aggressive tackler but for now that's all he is, we need to get to work on him right away.

This is the business we did and how our results have gone pre-season:

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AUGUST 2020

It's been a decent start to the season, we're through to the 6th round of the cup and the character we showed in coming back to beat Dessel was awesome, after we found ourselves 1-0 down owing to a penalty after  five minutes. The loss to STVV cannot be ignored but they're huge fav's to win this division but even so we were not good enough at all despite a good first half.  Pieri my young 16 year old striker has been forced to play due to injuries and he is has shown some real class, certainly one to keep an eye on.

Also, in the meantime I signed a new centre back, he was on my radar last season and I noticed he was on the free transfer list, say hello to Andre Rousseau, he looks a beast for this level:

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SEPTEMBER 2020

It's been such a good month for us and there's been some outstanding performances from the boys, first up I decided to allow Junior Zola join Mons for 59k plus 40% of next sale, I think that's good money for him, we're strong in the right back position and even though last year he was class I just think we can't afford to continue his development here as we need to get points this season and that's all I can focus on.

Two games which were amazing were the away game at much fancied Standard Liege in the cup, we took them all the way to extra time losing out to an 118th minute goal  - all this in front of a huge crowd of 31,351 - what a great experience for them all it was and to play so well was superb. 

The other game was Hoogstraten away from home, 1-1 at half time but the 2nd half we came out and dominated them and simply outplayed them, a result which would have sent shockwaves through the rest of the league. 

I am most pleased with how much we have tightened up at the back. Here are the results and current league table:

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OCTOBER 2020

Just when I think we've found our form we crumble, the start to this month was shocking with back to back defeats however the wins against Lommel and Cercle Brugge were so important as they're in the promotion hunt and again it's very tight but it's all still too early but we end the month top just about.

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NOVEMBER 2020

Despite us dropping four points this month thankfully other teams have done the same so we're still clinging to the  top of the league by the skin of our teeth but the vultures are circling, I've had to drop Carlier as the goals have really dried up and it's a situation I need to monitor carefully because attributes wise he is class. 

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DECEMBER 2020

Not a great month at all and the loss to STVV could be really damaging to our hopes of winning the league but they are head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of quality, I was so disappointed with the draw against UR Namur - they are the worse team in the division and we just scraped the draw.

Just 4/9 points this month:

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JANUARY 2021

Again another tricky month which has lead me to change to a 4231 again, we used it at Mouscron and looked solid enough, I must say though that even with the losses we dominated the games which makes it even more frustrating. 

Elsewhere, I am glad to announce that Princen, Fernandes & Daniels have signed new deals which is a great coup for the club and I do believe the three of them could play in the division above. 

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FEBRUARY 2021

This month has gone well and my decision to move to 4231 seems to be working so far, I must admit, given how tight the league is after our draw against Tienen we were 5th but thankfully those two wins have sent us back top again, it really is an exciting finish to the season and just 9 points separate us from the team in 10th!

I also changed my starting XI a little and brought in forgotten man Servais at the back and given youngster Siebe Claeys a chance and that seems to be working but what is more significant is that Carlier our top man seems to have found some form so hopefully results can continue during March. 

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MARCH 2021

What a roller coaster of a season this has been! I'm sure there are going to plenty of twists and turns even still but I was really angry at the loss away at Cercle Brugge who themselves are having a poor season but somehow we're still second in the league, we must win our remaining games because that 2 point gap behind STVV is pretty significant given that there's just 4 games left to play now. 

We also had our yearly youth intake and I snapped up Maxim Winters an attacking midfielder and Jon Van Belle who plays as a defensive midfielder but can also play as left wing back, if developed well they may well be decent but given our facilities it's doubtful. 

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END OF SEASON

Well, what a shocker, once again for the 3rd year running we finish so close and enter the promotion playoff. Fair play to STVV, they recovered from a poor start to win the league however as you can see it was a struggle for them and shows this 2nd division is improving year in and year out. In terms of results, yes we didn't lose but the draw at Liege was a major blow, especially considering that we were winning 2-0 at HT, we've done this a number of times this season and perhaps my HT team talk when winning should just be to say nothing because we always seem to give up good leads

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We now enter the promotion playoff against Lommel, Cercle Brugge and this time it will be Zulte Waregem from the division above who are going to be the stiffest challengers and it's there where we go first!

I will update you all at the end of the playoffs. 

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PLAYOFF ROUND UP:

I can't believe it, once again we have been undone in the playoffs, this is now the 3rd year running this has happened to us, it's just history repeating itself again and again, my dilemma now is do I stay and see if I can somehow break this spell or do I leave the club safe in the knowledge I've taken them as far as I can. 

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After the first two wins I was jumping for joy but then that was followed by two defeats and we could never come back from that. 

In terms of player performance this is how we have done:

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It has not worked out for Albertaini and I will be looking to release him, 6.68 over 26 starts is not good enough at all

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Pre-season report and transfers to come soon but AT LAST!!

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Also a new exciting partnership with Livorno has been announced, this could prove very useful:

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Superb year last year off the field, some very exciting times here at Bocholt, also the board finally agreed to an upgrade on both our training facilities and youth facilities!

After years of struggle it feels this could be our year, with the players we have signed you'll see why soon;

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So first of all, the friendlies, it's amazing the types of teams you can attract when your reputation has been given a boost, we gave Club Brugge a good game and Villarreal too, I was surprised as I thought we would get hammered, this does indeed bode well for the future:

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Now for the best part let me show you my new players in order of importance here they are, I will explain how I see them fitting in after:

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This is how I see them fitting in:

Van Den Bossche - a superb left back for this level and perhaps even for the level above, great engine on him, super fast off the mark and his positioning is excellent, can't wait to see how he does.

Reynders - Again, another wing back who looks excellent, a physical beast with superb work rate, our wing back positions now look solid on both sides!

Noel - He caused us so many issues last season when we played against him so with Carlier gone I decided to swoop for him and take him off our rivals Lommel, great finisher and always seems to get into scoring positions. 

Reshetnyak - what a superb young midfielder, he joins on loan from Russian side Anji and will be our 1st choice midfielder, first touch, passing, tackling, work rate in abundance and again his physicals are superb.

Kago - striker/ winger who joins us on loan from Estonian side Levadia, he is fast, decent crosser of a ball but does need some work, I just hope the deal works out. Not too impressed during pre-season. 

Koudaya - bought mainly to play right wing so will need some re-training but I like him 11/12 in most areas so should fit in well, when he played in this division two seasons ago he scored 9 in 27 and that was in my mind when signing, could be a very good deal.

Owona - Just 15 years of age but will be competing for a 1st team spot immediately as I think he could prove to be the real deal, I love his aggression and bravery and if I can get his physcials up he could be a real terrier in the middle of the park

 

This is the full business we did:

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AUG/SEP 2021

It really has not been the start I hoped for but somehow we are 3rd in the league, we have been suffering with so many injuries and it has impacted on us massively but no excuses we've not been consistent enough, the two loan players don't really seem to have fitted in with my almost entirely Belgian squad so it's likely I will be releasing them soon, I will have to keep monitoring it. 

We lost young Pieri who was only on a youth deal and Oostende have took him from us, I was gutted, he could be some player in a few years to come but we soldier on!

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Just caught up with this update. There seems to be more heartbreak than elation, but this could be the year. Great job so far

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2 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Just caught up with this update. There seems to be more heartbreak than elation, but this could be the year. Great job so far

Hey mate, thanks so much for reading and glad you are enjoying it, yes absolute heartbreak three years running, if this isn't our year this year I think I ought to step down but we're going well so far despite a slow start to the season, I think this may have been down to having too many new faces in the squad. 

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OCTOBER 2021

Despite the weird loss at home to Olympic Chareleroi who we dominated we have been superb, it seems that we've now got a settled XI and the consistency is really showing, I am very pleased with the boys so far:

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I have decided to terminate the loan deal of Reshetynak, he does look a great midfielder on paper for one reason or the other it just hasn't worked out and I don't see any reason to keep him here as he won't really play much. 

He goes back to Russia with our warmest regards on his future career. 

 

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Good news you turn  proffesional now!!:)Unlucky you had strong side Zulte Varegem in play of last year...

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24 minutes ago, Sheriff7 said:

Good news you turn  proffesional now!!:)Unlucky you had strong side Zulte Varegem in play of last year...

Thanks for the comment mate, yeah it's a nightmare of a league to get out of!

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NOV 2021

What a terrible month for us, for us who are supposed to be going for the title to pick up just 3 points is awful, I really can't put my finger on why we're conceding so many goals, it is incredibly frustrating!

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