Hackney Wick FC are a semi-professional football club from Hackney, playing in the Essex Senior league (Step 9 of the football pyramid). Their nickname is ‘The Wickers’. Those of you who followed my career with The Wickers last season will recall that we began in the Middlesex Football League Division One (Central & East) which is at Step 12 of the pyramid. This three step jump in leagues is because at the end of the 2016/17 season, The Wickers merged with London Bari FC in the ESL, bringing with them the club name, some of the board and a few of the squad.
We’re home! We’re finally back in Hackney after nine years of ground-sharing around London with our own home, Kasanga Park, named after our founder, captain and now Director of Football Bobby Kasanga. We had an amazing first season in the Premier League last season and also in Europe. Can we improve on our 10th position? Will we be able to make a mark in the domestic cups without the distraction of Europe?
- Avoid Relegation
- Reach the FA Cup fifth round
- Reach the EFL Cup fourth round
Here we are! The Premier League! After only fourteen seasons we’ve climbed from the twelfth tier to the summit. I predict a difficult season having to juggle a European campaign in the Europa League as well as our Premier League and domestic cup obligations, but we have a good young squad and with the right additions I think staying up should be a very realistic goal, as well as reaching the group stage of the Europa League. I won’t be placing much emphasis on the FA Cup nor the EFL cup this season, especially if we go anywhere in Europe – we just don’t have the squad depth.
These were the minimum expectations from the board. Whilst I felt we could achieve a better League finish, I didn’t want any added pressure with the Europa League games as well to contend with.
This season we’re widely predicted to fail again and be relegated by the media despite making it to the playoff final last season. To be honest I’m targeting to be there-or-thereabouts regarding the playoffs this time around, whether we get there will be determined by how much we can strengthen the team, and how much more our promising young squad can develop during the season.
ExpectationsThe expectations are realistic for the cups but as I’ve already said I’m really aiming higher for the league. We started with an £11m budget but this is what remains after our initial transfers.
Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – 2028/29 Season Review
We’re one promotion away from the promised land, though it’s probably going to be the hardest one to achieve – the Championship is widely regarded to be the toughest second division in the world. We’ll be playing teams where one of their players can earn more in a week than we pay the entire squad in a month. Our reputation is still somewhere around that of a decent League Two side, so attracting players of the required calibre will be extremely difficult. We’ll have to rely on our young squad hopefully developing faster with the higher standard of football on offer…
This is our tenth season, and we’ve come much further than I anticipated in that time. From the twelfth tier to the third. It’s been an incredible journey, and one that has still really only just begun.
- Avoid Relegation from League One
- Reach the FA Cup Third Round
- Reach EFL Cup First Round
- Qualify from EFL Trophy Group Stage
We’ve turned professional now that we’re in the Football League so most of the players will be moved onto new full-time contracts so that we can train them more efficiently. Unfortunately we’ve now reached a point where many of the original Hackney Wick players just won’t cut it any more, and so there’ll be a fair amount of transfer activity this season to rebuild the squad for our new life as a pro club. To be honest we reached that point a long while ago with some of them but my attachment to them got in the way of making sound footballing decisions. Not any more…
I forgot to screenshot the email message with the expectations but they were:
- Avoid relegation from League Two
- Reach the FA Cup 1st Round
- Reach the EFL Cup 1st Round
- Reach the EFL Trophy Group Stage
These expectations are realistic. I’m not expecting to get anywhere in the EFL Cup/Trophy but I’m hopeful of a better finish in the League, and a Third Round appearance in the FA Cup would be good for the finances.