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My Story by Lee Rothery

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JANUARY 2025

It's been a busy month this month mostly off the field as I made enquiries for our best performing loan players and I am happy to announce that I agreed a fee of £30.5k for goalkeeper Dragan Kovacevic who is now a fully fledged full time member of staff, here he is, he has been excellent for us:

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Just the two games this month and I am happy to come away with 4 points as the game against Venlo was on a knife edge as both teams went close. 

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Elsewhere there have been new deals for Pikic / Vinogradov / Hubner / Maznev 

Sadly this means Ciric / Dinu / Manea / De Jong will all be leaving come the end of the season although Ciric is one I might consider in a month or two depending on performances. 

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In the last few hours of the window we brought in Slovakian centre half Stefan Straka  - he is an absolute beast at this level and should fit in well, his mentals are amazing!

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FEBRUARY 2025

Man I am so angry at our recent form, we're so up and down at the moment and I can't quite get it right tactically, our playoff place is pretty secure but I'd like to finish in the top 5 if we can. The most disappointing thing was Spakenburg & Volendam because we should be beating those kinds of teams!

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MARCH 2025

At this moment in time we're a club on the slide, we are superb one week then poor the next and the consistency we enjoyed in the first half of the season has completely gone and we're clinging to these playoff places by the skin of our teeth, I have tried team meetings / player talks  / different systems but nothing seems to be doing the trick which is worrying as in the past my players usually did respond well to one of those three changes:

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END OF SEASON REVIEW:

Well, it's been a tough ending to the season, we finished 6th in the league which is 3 places above our media prediction so I can't complain too much but that wobble we had in the second half of the season cost us a higher place in the league. However,  in the playoffs we overcame a tough Zwolle side 3-2 which I was over the moon with as they knocked us out last season. However, SC Cambuur managed to overcome us on away goals, we drew the 1st leg at home 3-3 in a ding dong battle and the 2nd leg was 1-1 but we had some glorious chances in the last 10 minutes to win it but it wasn't to be so as it stands we bow out of the playoffs at the same round as last season.

In terms of player performances I have to single out two players here, Velko Maznev managed a 7.20 av rating from 27 games and also managed 2 goals/5 assists. Elsewhere, I have to single out Gert Vinogradov who managed 14 goals and 6 assists and got himself a very good 7.17 av rating over the course of the season. At the other end of the scale Ciric 6.75 and Manea 6.76 were poor and as I earlier identified these two players will be leaving in the summer as their contracts come to an end. 

Here are the results and league table:

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27 minutes ago, Guimy said:

Sadly, it wasn't to be :(

Well next year is my 4th year with them so hopefully I can still get a shirt! ha

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SEASON 2025-26 Season Preview

First up here is what the media think and I must admit I feel they are being unfair on us given we got the playoff 2nd round stage, they had us at 9th last year and this year they reckon 11th place is our bag but we're better than that. The return of GA Eagles is a worry as they are an excellent side but only time will tell. 

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My summer has been busy but I have to say I don't feel my squad is as good as last year, I did try to get some deals past the door but in terms of wages some players wanted £3k+ which would be stupid for a club of our size so I had to be sensible but I did bring in 4 players as full time players and all the rest was loans, before I show you the best players I brought in here is the business we have done:

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These are the better players we brought in:

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Here is my squad depth sheet for the season, one thing I think I need to address is some cover in midfield so it's probable I'll address that asap:

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My midfield issue has been solved, in comes Swiss midfielder Luca Rossoni who can play at MC or AMC so that flexibility could prove crucial for us :)

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AUGUST 2025

In terms of up front it's been a struggle, Winter is still injured and is yet to feature but Vindogradov has scored 4 already and Majcher, our new AMC has got 4 assists and those two seem to be combining well. We do have 3-4 players on the cusp of first team football but for now they are playing in the reserves improving their match fitness but the likes of Czar / Rossoni aren't too far away and Marques just got injured and is out for another 6 days but I'm hoping our injury issues settle down soon so I can have a bit of a settled first 11. 

The loss against GA Eagles was so annoying, they scored in 90th and 91st minute to grab the win but we were well on top and indeed before their first goal we hit the bar but thankfully we have started the season really well, however all the fancied teams have all started well too, it's amazing how quick the league has formed into a familiar pattern. 

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This could be your year, mate. Some stellar signings!

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2 hours ago, Guimy said:

This could be your year, mate. Some stellar signings!

haha hope so mate!

SEPTEMBER 2025

It's been another good month for us, I was a little disappointed in how we fell apart in the cup against Utrecht in front of a bumper crowd but they simply had more quality than us which does make me worry a bit about how we might do if we did get promoted. The game against Willem was  tough one too, it was so even but fair play to them they did just enough to win. Elsewhere this month we have had some excellent wins and the way we played against Heracles was really classy, we created so many chances and had 16 shots on target!

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We're still up there and given our prediction of 11th it does feel good to be sat 3rd after 10 games:

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OCTOBER 2025

It's not been a bad month really but to draw against Eindhoven was poor, I must say congratulations to MVV they beat us 1-0 and they were superb, they sussed us out tactically and really limited my front line which most teams struggle against.

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28 points from a possible 39 is excellent!

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6 hours ago, Guimy said:

We want that shirt eh? :)

Definitely mate, this is my last chance to see if the real GVVV will honour their word!

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NOVEMBER 2025

Well this month has been superb, I couldn't be prouder of the boys, we have to really be considered now as a serious title contender, this month saw us play RKC & Dordecht back to back and even with tired legs we managed to grind out a draw which shows we have the desire to fight for each point this season. The pressure will come now when we play so called lesser sides but as we reach the half way point I am very pleased with what I am seeing on the field. 

I'll be looking at contracts in December based on wage / av. rating so I willl update on this soon. Also, I have agreed a two year extension to my contract which now means I will be here until 2027, it's probable I will walk away then but you never know!

Here are the results & league:

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Player form:

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DECEMBER 2025

December is always one of my favourite months as I decide which contracts to renew and players to move on and we have been busy this period and done some good business I feel as we enter the second half of the season. The first news is that I have now signed Paulinho full time from Vasco, he really impressed me during his loan spell and I am very happy to have him in our ranks. Elsewhere, I tied down Meznev & Vinogradov to longer term deals as both are simply performing and they can stay as long as they like if they can keep it up. 

Zejglic was on a very good wag e (£2,300) a week and I didn't feel his performances warranted such money so FC Eindhoven came in and took him off our hands for £10,5k which isn't bad given his wages and his contract was expiring anyhow. I decided that my main focus was in midfield so I signed Yumerski who was chosen by DOF Guido Merry for a midfield slot and then at DMC I decided Hubner would need some support so in came Ivorian U21 international Kouadio on loan from Bologna, here they both are:

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In terms of results this month we have done really well as we keep our unbeaten run going, GA Eagles was a tough game but we did more than enough to deserve a share of the spoils.

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JANUARY 2026

The coach trip home was a pretty silent journey as some of the lads thought that was it and our chances were over but we kept going and other teams have slipped up like Willem who just lost 0-2 at home to Volendam so the league now looks a pretty picture again. I am sure there will be more twists to come but I am very happy especially at the way we dug in at Heracles, 3-2 down with 25 mins left and we fought back to claim all 3 points. 

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Our next match sees us face Willem  at home, could we eliminate one of our main rivals with a win?

 

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FEBRUARY 2026

Well ladies and gentlemen I think it's safe to say this one is going down to the wire, we have had to cram so many games in this month and despite the losses I am satisfied with the team. Luckily for us, the teams around us also slipped up so we're still very much there with the excellent MVV & Exclesior breathing down our necks. We also have 18 goal Vinogradov in our ranks and with him we always have a chance of getting a goal. If you recall, we signed him on a free as he was on a trial with FC Infonet and what a find he was. I reckon it won't be long before he'll be playing for his national team Estonia. 

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I'd say a title is still very much on the cards. Come on!

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11 hours ago, kidthekid said:

That shirt is yours

 

2 hours ago, Guimy said:

I'd say a title is still very much on the cards. Come on!

Thanks guys, bloody hope so, March is going to be an interesting month as we play 4 games and guess where we go the first game in April, yes RKC AWAY 

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MARCH 2026

Wow, it's been a nerve jangling month as we lost some points but to my surprise so did RKC so it's pretty much as you were as the title hunt comes to it's conclusion. In this period we picked up 9 points losing away 1-3 to Zwolle but we hammered them we just couldn't score but we've been without our stand out player Vinograzodov and missed his goals, he returned from injury against Volendam and look what happened below! In the same period RKC picked up 7 points so in advance of our trip to RKC we do have a small advantage but this counts for nothing if they beat us and indeed we still have to play Venlo & Dordecht who are not easy teams to beat.

Here are the results & league:

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We have just arrived here at Mandemakers Stadion, is this the place where we all but win the league?

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My heart can not take this, so we go away to RKC and win 1-0 but then we lose away to VVVV Venlo 2-1 and RKC beat Dordecht away 4-2 so now we must win our last game to ensure the league title and it's against FC Dordecht at home, we could only draw 1-1 at their place so it won't be easy but I would always back us when we're at home!

This is now how the league looks with 1 game left:

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LIVE UPDATES....

4 MINS  - MVVV 0-1 RKC  - We still stay top on goal difference as we're drawing

33 MINS - Luca Rossoni is played in and as offside shouts come he draws the keeper and slots it into the corner to settle our nerves :)

36 MINS - Get in! MVVV have equalised against RKC which now gives us that 4 point gap!

HALF TIME AS IT STANDS

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Just another 45 minutes to grind out now and we're up with the big boys!

65 MINS - Horn scores his 2nd as RKC take the lead and the lead is now 2 points at the top in our favour

87 MINS  - RKC go 3-1 up 

91 MINS - the ref signals 2 added minutes and the crowds are bursting at the gates to get on the pitch..........

THE REF BLOWS IT'S FULL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GVVVV HAVE WON THE LEAGUE AND WILL NOW PLAY NEXT SEASON IN THE EREDIVISIE!!!!!

 

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For completion sake, here are the remaining games and the league:

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SEASON REVIEW 2025/26

Well what can I say about this season? Yes we struggled sometimes with injuries but we were overall so consistent and I kept with the same system all the way through just using shouts to change up our play and that I think is something I will be doing next year too, it's a very attacking system so we will have to see how it plays out but I do feel we can survive the first year and surely that can only be our goal. Anything else would be a dream. 

In terms of player performance there is only one name which stands out and that is Gert Vindogradov - without him we looked lost but each time he came back from injury we looked so much better and he linked up the play superbly, 22 goals from 32 starts with 6 assists!

Elsewhere we had:

Yumerski 7.04- our January signing came in and fitted in nicely and I  feel he could be a big player for us as we look to consolidate in the Eredivisie, from just 10 games he scored 2 with 4 assists all from a deep midfield position, one to watch next season. 

Majcher 7.01 - Majcher started the season really well and that probably affords him the 7.01 he has but he had a wobble form wise in the middle of the season but overall he was our third best player, he started 31 games with 8 goals and 7 assists. 

Paulinho - 7.01 - Again, we initially had him on loan and he was superb so in January I swooped to sign and I was amazed he said yes, I think he could play at a much higher level, he offers us composure at the back and no one can beat him in the air but I'm sure this season will be a huge test for him.

On my watch iist are two names which are standing out to me:

Peter Hubner 6.77  - He wasn't terrible but he could never find a good run of form and it concerns me because he has albeit maxed out his potential but I will give him another season to see if he can improve but if he can't raise his figures he will be sold. 

Fabio Marques 6.81 - It's difficult to put this name on the watch list because there is no doubt he has boundless potential but he spends more time injured than on the pitch and when he has played he can't seem to find his rhythm, once again I will be watching him closely next term because as with Hubner, if he is unable to raise his game he will be shown the door. 

One player leaving the club this summer is centre back Filip Pikic, he is a good defender but he has been sulking for months now and I can't be doing with him, he has a negative effect on the squad and morale is never as good when he's around plus he is paid £2140 a week, one of our highest earners so it will be good to get off him off the wage budget. 

I will be back in touch with my season preview for next year soon :)

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5 hours ago, Guimy said:

Congrats mate :)

It's teamwork, could not have done it without my DOF!!

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2026-27 PRE-SEASON & SEASON PREVIEW

Welcome back to our journey here at GVVV - I have made some very bold moves in the transfer market as I look to assemble a squad which can stay in the division and the squad has took on a very South American look with a few Chileans added to the squad and another Brazilian which we will come to shortly. However first I would like to discuss our pre-season, I decided to challenge my lads with some tough games rather than the usual cannon folder and I was so impressed with my side. We have played against Premiership side Nott'm Forest 2-1 and beat Club Brugge 3-1 which I was amazed by and it really fills me with confidence for the season ahead. Here are the results:

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In terms of outs there was only one player who left which was Pikic who I was glad to see the back of and in terms of incomings we signed these players:

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Gomes will be my first choice either at AMC or up top, at the moment I prefer him at AMC

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A  great loan deal, costs next to nothing in wages and I was surprised Fenerbahce said yes when I approached them, will be our number 1 but depending on form he will rotate with Kovacevic

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first choice left back and offers us a lot going forward, look at his acceleration and crossing!

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Canales could be my biggest blunder, even my DOF said I overpaid and I must say I agree, all will be forgotten if he can bang in the goals but this signing worries me as he cost me £425k from Union Espanola

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Smith comes in and offers us some much needed experience and will be my anchor man, he is technically superb and will be good for 1-2 seasons maybe longer, look at his natural fitness! 

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Trillos comes in on a loan for 5 months to help us in the first half of the month, he will partner Yumerski in the MC position and he is actually our first choice. 

In terms of odds we are predicted dead last 2001-1, in term of squad depth this is how we line up:

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15 hours ago, Guimy said:

Have GVVV responded?

No not yet - I have messaged them to say do they need my address but no reply, I hope they keep their word!

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Surely the board need to approve an extension to the capacity?

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AUGUST 2026

It's been a whirlwind start to the campaign as we started with a visit from AZ but we maintained our pre-season form and won handsomely 3-0 in front of a packed crowd at Sportpark Panhuis we then beat SC Heerenveen away in the dying minutes which was so gratifying, two draws were then followed by a hammering in the De Kuip but I wasn't that let down, we matched them but they took their chances and then just now we saw off the almighty PSV at home 3-0 which was an astonishing result. We are unable to fulfill the ticket demand so the board have also decided to expand the stadium, not by much but every little stream of revenue counts and I am now confident we can have a good season here. 

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SEPTEMBER 2026

Not a bad month all told, to go to Ajax and perform the way we did was superb, we had to change our game plan but it really worked as we limited them to just 3 shots on target. I really did slip up away at Groningen and it serves me right, I changed the team around for some reason and allowed those without match fitness a game and it massively backfired so I won't be doing that again. In the cup we sneaked past DOVO who were surprisingly decent. 

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I am immensely proud of our league position :)

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Next month sees us play 4 teams above us so it's going to be a tough challenge so the next league table update will be interesting. 

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3 hours ago, Guimy said:

Excellent start to the season!

Thanks mate, hopefully it can continue, our first 11 are really good but when it gets to player 14/15 and so on we're really poor 

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OCTOBER 2026

The month could have gone better but to be 9th placed is awesome although I am acutely aware that we could do with three points to settle our nerves as all it takes is a few wins from the teams below us and we could be looking over our shoulders. We started the month really well with a superb draw against NEC and a great win at Roda JC but the draw at GA Eagles was poor and the game just now against FC Twente was so even, we deserved a point and to make matters worse we had a goal disallowed on 89 minutes but sometimes that's just the way it goes.

Next month sees us face Den Bosch who we ought to beat and then Sparta who we could beat but then a trip to Vitesse, last years champions could prove difficult to beat and we'll certainly just have to play a less expansive game and hope to snatch a point, after all we did it earlier at Ajax.

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NOVEMBER 2026

It's been a good month for us, we saw off Den Bosch comfortably and was unlucky against Sparta but I was most impressed with the draw at Vitesse, we played contain for 45 minutes and it worked as we stood firm and handled everything they threw at us:

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DECEMBER 2026

We are on the decline at the moment and it doesn't help when the only person likely to score goals (Vindogradov) is out for 4 months with a torn harmstring but we are really struggling and with the loans of Gomes and Trillos coming to an end I have decided to enter the market again so it's likely we will see some loans coming in next month to add a bit of freshness to the squad. Here are the results and league:

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JANUARY 2027

Last time I was concerned about our depth and in addition to that two loans had expired so immediately last month I knew what we needed, we needed a midfielder and a striker and I have managed to secure these two lads on loans until the end of the season. 

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35 years of age but just look at those mentals! It's mental!

I am so pleased to announce that we seem to have turned it around and Ashirov has been at the heart of everything good, it goes to show you should never discard someone based on their age, he has been superb! To win at PSV who were top was outstanding, a team like ours should not be winning away at a club like PSV in front of 33,563 people, this hopefully should act as a catalyst for us in our coming fixtures:

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Excellent start to life in the top flight!

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Just now, Keano16 said:

Excellent start to life in the top flight!

Thanks mate, it's a tough league but I think we're safe now, just need some more depth next season, Canales though has been a flop it has to be said 

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FEBRUARY 2027

Once again we are blowing hot and cold and to give you an example, in our last game we battered 5th placed Groningen but somehow ended up losing 2-1. This month started so well, I mean we beat Feyenord 5-1 an amazing result but we fell back again and once again we're a few games away of being dragged in to the relegation scrap but hopefully it doesn't come to that. 

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SEASON REVIEW

I decided to power through the remaining games and get to pre-season as I have a lot of work to do this summer with many players contracts coming to an end some big decisions need to be made but more of that later. 

First of all, let's look at the results, can you tell Vindogradov came back from injury for the last 3 games, he is such a big player for us and 3 in 3 is no mean feat, I can only dream of what our season may have been had he not been injured for most of it:

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We had some amazing results and we ended the season strongly which gives me hope for next year, overall I have to say it has been an amazing first season, we did look like we were heading south at times but we fought back and were not in any real danger all season of being relegated which, given our pre-season odds is pretty remarkable! Here is the final league table:

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At this point of the season I like to take a look at my squad depth sheet and then use this as a basis for my upcoming summer, here it is sorted in order and with their average rating:

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Here is my squad sheet now after some decisions have been made, the players in red mean either their loans are coming to an end or contract is expiring and they are going, those in green are the loans I have in but who have impressed me enough to be offered contracts:

Canales played a 6.8 but I want to give him another year, we spent £425k on him and I really want him to come good so this year is make or break for him

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PRE-SEASON

It's been a huge summer here at GVVV and the club have seen a lot of activity with transfers, improving facilities and even expanding our capacity so it definitely feels now like a club on the horizon of big things but I have to focus on the here and now, yes last season was excelent finishing 10th but we're going to have work just as hard as last year to maintain that or dare I say better it.

Here are the transfers we made:

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Here is my squad sheet for the season, Vinogradov is now down the pecking order a bit but players above him are either almost retired or on loan so this year we'll see how he goes, we can either cash in on him or stlll use him but to make the leap to a top5 team which is my aim he may not quite have the quality we need but we'll see.

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Here are some of the players we brought in this season but before I show you this is what the media think:

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In order of who I think is most significant here are the new lads:

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