http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ Depite our solid 3-0 result against Staines we finish the season in 3rd place due to wins for Braintree and Welling with Braintree winning the league, Yay. Overall our 3rd place finish is impressive considering the bad start Havant & W had before I joined. I also picked up my first Manager of the Month Award which has being a long time coming.
However, the season isn’t over yet! One more promotion place remains and having finished 3rd we face a two legged semi-final playoff fixture against arch rivals Eastleigh. Overconfidence has been our main downfall this season and I’m determined to keep the team focused for these crucial games. Lets get out of this league!
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ A 3-1 aggregate win over Eastleigh sent us through to the playoff final where we would meet Welling. Having not lost against Welling this season I was confident we could beat them and win promotion! Newly appointed captain Ben Whelehan and Jack Sampson had both recovered from injury and were in the starting line up. My first choice 11 were all fit and ready for the most important game of the season.
BSS Play-off Final First Half - Disaster struck 6 minutes in when the referee (secretly wearing a Welling shirt) gave a controversial penalty decision against us. Welling scored and we were already on the back foot. Welling 1 - 0.
On 13 minutes a Welling cross was badly fumbled by our keeper resulting in Navas scoring an own goal. Welling 2 - 0.
Just before half-time with Welling operating much more defensively now, Cherno Samba was practically gang-raped in the area by no less than four Welling players, the referee (despite his love for Welling) had to give the penalty. Navas stepped up, eager to make up for his own goal….. and hit the post!
Half-time - Although we were losing we had looked the stronger team in the first half, time to set things straight with a kick up the backside to my players and a more attacking tactic for them to use.
Full-time - After a frustrating second half with lots of good play but no goals Welling had won promotion, 2-0. Throughout the match we had looked the stronger side with way more shots and lots more possession, it was just one of those rare games where we could not find the net and the opposition got lucky.
Transfers & Squad
A full list of player transfers for the season. Almost a completely new squad was brought in this season and much of the previous squad was simply released including the entire under 18 team.
Players of the Season 1st - Samba - ST - Finished as our top goalscorer and top of the BSS average rating table. His first good season since scoring 132 goals as a 13 year old.
2nd - Sampson - ST - Has worked very well alongside Samba and chipped in with plenty of goals and assists, hopefully he’ll sign a new contract soon.
3rd - Whelehan - DC - The recently appointed captain has been consistent all season in defence, Worked really well with Oji at the back.
While I’m disappointed at coming so close to promotion and missing out there are a lot of positives to take into next season where we will most surely be front runners for the title.
Exceeded expectations - Havant & W were predicted to finish 5th this season and having finished 3rd only 1 point off 1st we‘ve slightly overachieved.
Great record - Since joining the club my league record has been 22-Won 4-Drawn 6-Lost, a great record and to come back so strongly from a terrible start of season is impressive.
Strong squad - In comparison to others my squad is far stronger in both quality and depth than any other in this league and we should runaway with the title next season.
Settled squad - Having replaced almost all the players from the previous regime I‘m happy that I now have a squad full with players of my own choosing, the majority of them will be here next season and this will create a strong understanding between them.
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ Pre-season starts, and work needs to be done to get the squad ready for the league. Plenty of friendlys arranged to get the team match fit and transfers in and out have already got under way. I informed the board that I expected to win the BSS this season on the same budget as last year, the media have predicted Havant & Waterlooville to finish 3rd this season. Wes Fogden wins the Fans Player of the Season likely due him playing right from the start of last season.
My main focus at the moment is transforming the club in a way that will encourage the board to turn fully professional. With all the coaching staff now full-time along with half the squad the rest are either signing new full-time contracts or being sold. The only part-time players that will be here this year are veterans whose contracts end later this season.
After checking our financial status for the first time in a while I realised I’d run us into £200K of debt in my first season, this has encouraged me to sell some of our high earning players. So far Chiacchio, Samba and Djebi-Zadi have been sold, Chiacchio being a record high sale of £20K.
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ Pre-season is over and our first competitive match is at home against Basingstoke today. Friendlys went well and I’m looking to take that form into the league. I’m very happy with the quality of players in my squad and I have no doubt Havant & W will take the title by force.
A ridiculous amount of players coming in this season but with so much promising youth willing to sign for less than £50pw how could I resist. I now have a complete reserve team that would more appropriately be called an under 19 team. Some older players have been signed to strengthen the first team and there is a nice blend of youth/experience.
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ Today marks my 1 year anniversary as manager of Havant & Waterlooville, a success so far I hope I can say the same in another years time, only in the Blue Square Premier.
I’m impressed with the start we’ve had to the season, a current run of 7 games unbeaten in the league has seen us climb to 1st though we are closely followed by a hoard of other hopeful challengers. FA Cup qualifying has begun and we opened our participation in the competition with a 7-0 win that I’m delighted with.
Key Player Sam Oji - DC - While we’ve been in great goal scoring form recently, credit has to go to Oji who has been brilliant in defence and has lead the team well in the absence of injured captain Whelehan.
The clubs bank balance has become an increasing worry for me with the board twice having felt the need to provide cash injections to help with the running of the club. While the wage bill is within the budget, perhaps the board has given me too much. Maybe a good cup run can help us out and hopefully I’ll be able to get some tasty transfer fees from sales in January.
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ Despite dominating the first game and being by far the superior force in the replay, Lewes somehow managed to knock us out of the FA Cup. I’m seriously pissed off!
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ The first half of the season has gone according to plan and Havant & W sit in 1st place with a 6 point advantage. We’ve kept it tight at the back whilst not being shy up front and our form has been excellent, the BSS has been rich with goals this season and any other year we would be top of goals scored.
Being knocked out of the FA Cup so early was disappointing but were still in the FA trophy and as always I’m optimistic about our chances.
Due to our finances becoming increasingly insecure I’ve reluctantly sold some key players this transfer window. Centre defence duo also main and vice captain Whelehan and Oji leave bringing in 50k, this means Albrechtsen gets a well earned spot in the first 11 and Lavan has been brought in to replace Whelehan.
Also our strike force has been cleared out bringing in 75k total... Sampson, Esseboom and Pergaud have been great this season but unfortunately we needed the money.
Key New Signings
A couple of frees brought in to fill the gaps left by outgoing players including:
Experienced defender brought in to replace Whelehan, has also immediately been named as captain and the squad seem pleased with this.http://img227.imageshack.us/i/lavan.jpg/
Younger version of recently sold Esseboom, good team player.http://img716.imageshack.us/i/gombala.jpg/
Similar to Sampson and signed as a direct replacement, I’m hoping for similar performances.http://img444.imageshack.us/i/jarvis.jpg/
Key Player Arturo ten Heuvel - ML - Outstanding on the left of midfielder this season and has easily been the best player in the BSS. Has contributed with 8 goals and 9 assists. Also named new vice captain.
Debut Goals and Sacked Assistants
With a number of first teamers leaving I decided to test out some backups, 4 players made their league debut against Chippingham and all 4 scored their first goals (although Tallacks was an own goal).
Following a post match rant about a referees performance I received a 1 match touchline ban. I selected a strong team and my assistant took control of the FA Trophy 1st round fixture against Hampton & Richmond, what I witnessed shocked and gravely disappointed me.
Despite possessing the stronger team my ass man immediately switched to a very defensive mentality which saw us get bombarded by Hampton attacks in the first half and we didn’t have a single attempt on goal! We got lucky in the second half and somehow equalized (later winning the replay).
Post-match, after checking his profile I immediately terminated his contract and I can’t understand why I even signed him in the first place (other than for scouting knowledge of Belgium). Antonio Pinto replaces him and looks a very capable assistant manager (also having knowledge of Portugal and similar preferences on tactics to me).
Despite a number of changes to the team the squad doesn’t really look any weaker and our midfield looks especially strong. Finances have been steadied a wee bit but more more players will likely need to be sold in the summer. League performance is going well and I expect that to continue, a new aim is to earn at least 90 points this season and a goal difference of 50+.
I've been following your managerial career, and seems like you've got off to a gd start, now i would update and show you my bmuff career but too much effort, btw try and sign someone called lionel locatelli and anthony rigole, gifton noel-williams signed them on my hinckley career and they are excellent players who can easily play at a higher level, locatelli is doing a gd job for me in league 1 atm, you seem to be storming away with the league let's hope you get promoted this time.
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ After 38 games and 4 to go Havant & Waterlooville have been crowned BSS Champions! An incredible achievement accompanied by a superb current run of 19 games unbeaten. In the last 14 league games we have picked up 40 out of a possible 42 points and have run away with the title!
We have a chance of doubling our trophy collection this season as we have reached the final of the FA Trophy. A marvellous run in the cup has seen us pick up some great results including a 6-2 aggregate win over BSP team Macclesfield. Funnily enough we face last seasons Blue Square South champions Braintree in the final.
1 Game, 5 Injuries and a Perfect Month
An unusual injury filled game against Thurrock forced me make all 3 substitutions before half-time, pretty bad luck I guess. We ended up finishing the game with 9 men after 5 injuries. Fortunately we won the game and none of the injuries were serious.
Despite the injuries February turned out to be a perfect month with us winning all 7 games (league and cup) and me picking up the Manager of the Month Award.
One new player has arrived at the club, former Man City youngster Benali who will provide cover in defence and midfield.
Key Player Jarvis - ST - Has settling straight into goalscoring form since joining in January and has linked well with our other strikers.
League Points Record - Though the title is in the bag there is a particularly impressive record I have my eyes on, a 103 league point record set by Newport County 2 seasons ago. If we win all 4 of our remaining games we will set a new record of 104 points. Lets do it!
FA Trophy Winners - The final against Braintree sees this years BSS champs play last years champs. Braintree currently sit in 23rd in the BSP and with their terrible league form and the progress we have made this season I’m confident we can do the lower league double!
http://img257.imageshack.us/i/havantwaterloovillefclo.jpg/ Havant & Waterlooville win the Blue Square South by a clear 21 points and also set a new league record of 104 points! A fantastic season that could be made even better with a FA Trophy win against Braintree.
Some new players have already joined in anticipation of the new season in the BSP
FA Trophy Final
A first final in this competition for both clubs and I expect an exciting game. A full squad to choose from and my best 11 is out there with the exception of GK O’Brien who is out injured, new signing Hansen takes his place and makes his club debut in a cup final.