After last season’s disappointment of being knocked out in the playoffs, we bounced back bigger and better by eventually lifting the League Two title with a 97 points tally. Home form was key, but the major turning point was a shift in tactics halfway through the season. With calls from the fans to play a more possession based pressing game, we made the switch to a 352 tactic, which saw us go on a huge winning streak and ultimately lift our first piece of silverware of the series. More on that tactic further down.
Finances and Facilities
We’ve spent a decent amount on improving the facilities during the course of this season. The big news though is that we’ve formed an under 21’s side! We should be able to register them in competitions from next season. During this campaign, we’ve simply got things going with regular friendly matches to increase game time and development.
Despite outlays on facilities, we’ve managed to maintain a fairly healthy bank balance of around £1M.
Our key transfer target has been a right wing back, ideally with some pace, stamina, work rate and crossing ability. Someone who can get up and down the pitch and offer some quality delivery. Our main target became Tyler Magloire, who we signed for £240K. He lacks the crossing ability I wanted, but is an absolute speed merchant. His physical attributes are quite something.
Long term transfer target, Shaun McWilliams, was confirmed on a £300,000 deal from Northampton just after our promotion place was confirmed. His versatility as either a defensive or box to box midfielder, with high tackling, work rate, strength, aggression and determination, has meant I’ve had my eye on him for a while now. The 13 yellow cards he’s picked up this season paints a picture.
The squad was bolstered further with added depth in several area. Two major loan signings have brought in a touch of quality as well, through Chelsea’s Lewis Hall and Birmingham’s George Hall.
|Ball playing defender
|Centre-back / right wing-back
|Ball winning midfielder
We made a significant change to our formation and style of play around mid-season. With results being somewhat mixed and the fans calling for more possession-based attacking football, we switched to a positive gengenpressing tactic. The effect on results was instant and massively impacted on our fortunes come the end of season, with a hugely impressive run of victories both home and away.
Centre-back Ashley Palmer, the man of the hour, stepped up during an injury crisis to bag himself a few goals as a target man, which aided our end of season push for silverware. He’s earnt himself ‘hero status’, in my eyes (and a 2 year contract extension). Thinking ahead, I’ve also sent him on a coaching course.
Taking the 352 gegenpressing tactic forward, here’s how we’ll be looking to open the new season, as we ‘fight bravely to avoid relegation’: