#030 - Position eight loves us
That was it. A really enjoying season with a somewhat doubtful end. Already in the first match of the last five it was quite clear that we probably not going to fight for a play-off spot. We played without any inspiration against Peterhead
, and so we loss, despite taking the lead just after halftime. But to be honest that was already against the ratio. Ten minutes later the visitors had balanced the score in their favour: 1-2. Although we did win the next two matches without playing great football, we didn’t came any closer to place six because of all our competitors did win their matches as well, making it almost impossible for us to finish within the first six. We had to win the second last game against Caledonian Braves
who are battling against relegation, but we played an awful match again. They deserved the win and so it was all over for us. The last game didn’t even matter anymore, we are finishing eight anyway. And that was obvious visible. Eleven unmotivated players literally walked like warmed corpses over the pitch, creating just nothing. In the meanwhile Airdrieonians
had to win to make a chance for finishing second in the league and so directly getting promoted. They did their job, but the liberating 3-1 only fell in the additional time. The only chance we had was a shot from distance, which Ashmore
surprisingly lumped in. Unfortunately the season was during just a couple of matches too long for us, but we are definitely not complaining at all. Finishing Eight! Who could even think about it before the season started...
Of course Henderson
was delighted as well: “Not the best match for us this season, but overall we should be really satisfied. We played a whole bunch of good games this year, winning a lot and as a result finishing eight is a brilliant performance. We can build on this further into next season, although we definitely can't expect to achieve the same result as we did this season, or even doing better, reaching into the play-offs. It heavily depends on which players we can sign, how our current players are performing in the second season because everybody knows us right now and on top of that, history has learned that - generally spoken - the second season is way more tougher than the first one. But, we shall see how things sort out. First we are going to enjoy our more than deserved holiday period!”
Although we achieved a good result as a team, not every individual is good enough for this level of football. The first player who is going to leave us will be Dean Brett
. Already after a couple of matches in the league it was pretty clear he hasn’t the abilities to perform good enough for Championship football. Finlayson
replaced him for almost the rest of the season, but he is also not good enough. We keep him as a back-up player, but we definitely need an upgrade for our right full-back position, if possible with some decent attacking skills as well. That will be by far our main target for the upcoming transfer-window.
Our centre backs performed quite stable. Only three teams conceded less goals than us, so that’s a good indication that we have decent players here. Although our goalkeeper developed himself really good as well. Mike Henn
is on loan and will return to Hearts
of course, but we are trying to loan him for another season, although I think that might be difficult. Left-fullback Daniel Church
is also going to leave us. Surprisingly he has a really good report from our scouts (mention his star rating in comparison with the rest of the squad), but I never ever betrayed him for playing just one good match. Luckily he is running out of his contract. Jordan Armstrong
is the only centre back who is going to leave us, he is running out of his contract and I have some doubts about him to be honest after he looked like a huge upgrade at the start of the season.
Our midfielders performed decent as well. I was expecting a bit more from Ritchie
, but we give him another season to proof himself. Ashmore
will definitely staying with us, only Brian Cameron
is going to leave us. Almost 32-years old now he downgrades a bit, so I think the time is right to say goodbye to him. Probably he still can be helpful for a League One side, but not for Championship football anymore. So we need a new player for our midfield as well.
Our wingers performed not that good this season. Only Duff
did his job, but all the others guys disappointed me a bit to be honest. Especially Wardrope
, from who I had some really good expectations, but he never filled them in. His contract is not expiring, so we have to keep him, but he really needs to impress me soon after the start of next season, otherwise I will place him back into our B-squad or send him on loan if possible. Irishman Cory Galvin
is running out of his contract and is going to leave us, and the same will probably happen for right-wingers Bill Swanson
and Alberto Vezza
. Decent wingers, but just not good enough for this level of football for making a difference. So, after searching for a new right-back, we definitely need an upgrade for our right-winger position as well.
Striker Bryan Griffiths
is by far our most reliable player right now. He didn’t missed a single match last season, scoring 24 competition goals, for which he earned the Championship top goalscorers trophy as well. An amazing achievement I would say. Declan Hannah
already signed a new contract for another club. Which is good for him because we definitely had not lengthen it. Reilly
only scored two goals (both in one match) but he never proofed himself as a reliable back-up for Griffiths. We keep him for another season because his contract is not expiring yet, but he will probably not playing that much anymore next season if we are able to find another striker. In summary we are going ahead with 14 of our current players, which means we need at least seven fresh players. Our youth academy is still not bringing in rough diamonds unfortunately, so I think we have to splash some money around for the first time since Henderson joined the club to assemble a squad for next season. Underneath I’ve showed the last seasons team statistics and my own profile as well.