Season 2 - Part 1
Chairwoman of Irn-Bronx Association Football Club: Greta Thunberg
I inherited the save from OMGItsToddzy
following the club's underwhelming seventh-placed finish in Ladbrokes Scottish League Two last season. There was some serious groundwork to be done with chairwoman, Greta Thunberg, voicing her discontent with the performance of the team last season. She was quoted as saying, "how dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, Mr Morgan."
Manager Piers Morgan continued to stress throughout the season he had the ability to succeed in the club's debut year in Scottish football, but ultimately flattered to deceive as his side won just three of their last fifteen games. He retains his job this season under the premise that the club can improve on last season's disappointment.
There was a significant amount of upheaval over the course of the summer as six players were released following the conclusion of the 2019/20 season. This included fans-favourite striker Ahmed Aloulou who opted to join Formartine United further down the footballing pyramid in Scotland with United plying their trade in the Highland Football League - the fifth-tier of Scottish football.
Upheaval wasn't limited to just the playing-staff either; assistant manager Declan Forrest, physios Steven Kane and Chris McKenzie and scouts Tony Shields and Andy McLean all had their contracts terminated as the club sought to go in a new direction.
Kevin Kelbie returned to the club a year-on from a brief trial spell a year prior as Morgan's new number two following his retirement from semi-professional football. Mark Thorburn was recruited as part of the physiotherapy team, whilst Shaun Harrison and Iain Ross joined to complete the scouting team.
The club also made an important commercial move in announcing Scottish Premiership side Ross County as the club's senior affiliate. There is no fee involved between the two clubs, but it is believed County view the relationship as one that will ultimately enable them to use Irn-Bronx as a feeder club to further develop their young talent in a semi-professional environment at first-team level.
Aided by the generous financial backing supplied by Thunberg, Morgan added none-other than nine new recruits over the summer ahead of the 2020/21 season. Luke Motruck
became the first signing of the summer following his release from Swansea City. He was soon accompanied by Danny Denholm
and Lewis Morrison
who were released by East Fife and Hurlford, respectively.
joined on loan from Sky Bet League One side Coventry City, whilst full-back James Maxwell
was borrowed from Rangers until the end of the season. Christian N'Guessan
bolstered a plethora of options in the centre of midfield following his arrival after being released from Premier League side Burnley.
joined following his release from Ipswich Town where he was unable to make a single appearance for the senior side. Luke Lyons
was also released by an English side this summer after being let-go by Leeds United. He attracted interest from teams higher up the Scottish pyramid with Scottish Premiership side Livingston taking Lyons on trial, but the 20-year-old has opted to come to The Real Winners of TV's Naked Attraction on a two-year-deal.
was a late recruit to the side after completing his loan move from Scottish Premiership outfit St Mirren on Deadline Day.
So, let's have a look at how the club have performed between July - January.
The season began with the usual curtain-raiser of the Bettred Cup, as we were drawn into a group with Scottish Premiership opposition in Kilmarnock, Ayr United and Airdie of the Championship and Falkirk of League One. It was simply a case of making a good account of ourselves, so it seemed.
However, we performed significantly above expectations. An expected loss to Kilmarnock featured a spirited performance to which was followed up by a 1-1 draw against Airdie before an unexpected penalty-shootout victory gained us an extra point. David Bremang was the difference in a shock 1-0 victory against Ayr United before a 3-2 loss to Falkirk ensured we finished fourth - ahead of Falkirk - with five points to our name.
This was quickly followed by the beginning of our Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup campaign as we comfortably beat Hamilton Academical's Reserves, 2-0, leading us into the beginning of our Ladbrokes Scottish League Two campaign.
The opening day prompted a disappointing 1-0 loss to Stenhousemuir, but we bounced back superbly with a victory against Elgin City. Our Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup adventure finished as quickly as it started with a loss to Hibernian's Reserves as we rotated the side to focus on our upcoming league fixtures.
A run of six consecutive victories, which was capped off with a 5-2 demolition of the basement side Queen's Park, led us to the top of League Two heading into the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. With fifteen minutes to go, we trailed 3-1 against fellow League Two opposition in Edinburgh City, but a double from substitute Christian N'Guessan resulted in a replay being required which we went on to win 2-1 at Firhill. This set up a clash with Ladbrokes Championship side Dunfermline Athletic.
Our return to the league was met with a humbling defeat away to promotion rivals Forfar Athletic. A hat-trick of spectacular goals from Callum Tapping ensured they moved top. We responded with a 6-3 victory against Stenhousemuir who initially came back from 3-1 down to level the game up at the break before we raced away with it as Lewis Jamieson captured a hat-trick.
Successive defeats to Elgin City - another promotion rival - and Edinburgh City who were quickly gathering momentum meant we fell further behind Forfar and slipped behind Elgin into third. A 2-0 victory against Cowdenbeath was followed up with a point against Stanraer. The visitors snatched an 87th minute equaliser to break our hearts in that one. Our William Hill Scottish Cup campaign was brought to a premature, yet expected end in the midst of these games following a 2-0 loss to our Championship opponents.
Victories against Annan Athletic and Queen's Park either-side of a 1-1 with Brechin City meant we went into our clash with Forfar Athletic level on points with them and just a point behind Elgin City who were set to travel to in-form Edinburgh City who sat just a point behind us in fourth.
A 1-0 victory thanks to a first-half strike from Lewis Jamieson ensured we moved top heading into January as Elgin were held to a 0-0 draw in Edinburgh. Excellent stuff for Piers Morgan's men.
Here is confirmation of the Ladbrokes Scottish League Two table.
We sit narrowly ahead of Elgin, Forfar and Edinburgh City, but hold a significant fifteen point advantage over the team currently just outside the play-offs, Brechin City. Our aspirations are much higher than simply obtaining a play-off place, though. We have to be aiming to consolidate our lead at the top of the division and ensure we gain automatic promotion to League One next season.
Star performers so far this season have to be Lewis Morrison
and Lewis Jamieson
who have totalled eighteen goals between them this campaign. Hopefully they can maintain their form heading into the all-important second-half of the season.
With that said, I want to wish HazzaMUFC
the very best of luck as he takes over the reigns next. Good luck mate; finish the season in style!