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
We’ve been busy in the transfer market with that £70m burning a hole in my pocket.
Willem van der Zwan is a talented RB with potential. Will play as a backup whilst he develops further.
Robin Ahlm. Wonderkid CM. Shattered our transfer record, but with his skill, age and potential, and at only half the price of Pogba, I feel we have made an excellent purchase!
Robert Morales is only our second South American signing, and was a steal. He will partner Bernardo at CB.
I came across winger Moussa Thimbo whilst scouting Ahlm and he fit the bill for replacing David Smith so a deal was struck.
Simon Beestin: We needed a new backup keeper, and with our recent splurge on big money foreign talent I wanted to bring some Brits into the squad so transfer-listed Beestin was signed.
Vic Keates is another backup, this time a striker. He’s not great but he was cheap and English.
Jean Moore was signed for compensation from Chelsea aged 16. LB with good potential. One for the future.
Steven Davidson was signed from recently relegated Everton. He’s a young and talented Scottish international RB who replaces Frank van Dijk.
With players coming in, players had to go to make space. Sabo was pure profit after joining on a free last season. One-time record signing Clough just wasn’t of the required ability anymore and spent last season in the u23’s. Higginson and Berry were backups from previous seasons who just ran their contracts down. Pimenta was another backup who is surplus to requirements with the signing of van der Zwan. Scott Mason was at one time our best keeper and it’s sad to see him go. van Dijk had to go to finance the Davidson deal. Bailey had been good for us in the past but he wanted to leave. Backup DM Pernes came in for £4,000 and leaves for £300k so a good deal all round, and Luke Bruno, one of my favourite players after joining us in the Ryman Premier on a free and stayed with us all the way through, much of the time as a key player at CB, leaves to get the game time he deserves.
Avoid relegation is the minimum, top half is my aim.
We had a very respectable season for what is only our second season in the Premier League. We only lost against big clubs, with the exception of Tottenham away, and most notable is that except for the home loss against eventual champions United, we only lost away games.
Without the distraction of Europe we had the chance to really take a run at the cups, which is a plan that really worked! Using a mix of promising youngsters and first-teamers we made our way through the rounds, with a nailbiting penalty win against City in the quarter final and an exhilarating final against Chelsea that was very finely balanced, and it took a 90th minute winner from winger Moussa Thimbo to give us the win, and our first FA Cup!
We were going for it with the EFL Cup as well, and some relatively easy ties allowed us to reach the final with mostly reserve and younger players. To be honest City battered us in the final, with some key players suspended or injured, so we did really well to keep the scoreline to a very respectable 1-0.
WE ACTUALLY SIGNED SOMEONE! AND HE LOOKS AWESOME!
Obviously he needs work, but he has 1.5* CA and 4-5* PA! I’ll work him in slowly next season, giving him most time in our u23 league winning side and occasional cup games.
We will hope to continue what we’ve been doing this season, and build on it with our Europa League campaign too. Our stadium will be expanded to 21,297 and whilst this happens we’ll be back at QPR’s Stan Bowles Arena. The transfer focus will be on young players for the future as we plan to expand our scouting network and look to the future of Hackney Wick as I want us to run at a transfer surplus eventually, producing our own and developing young talent.
DISCLAIMER: I have purchased the In Game Editor (IGE) so that I can update the in-game kits as and when we change to new kit designs, and also to correct a couple of competition names. I felt the need to point this out as you can now see the icon in the corner of some screenshots. I’ve disabled the editor whilst not in use so the button appears but is greyed out.