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
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 in the National League, which is the highest division in the semi-professional game. If we can go up from here, we’ll be a professional Football League outfit! But before we get carried away with that idea, we have to face a division filled with a good few professional sides that have been relegated over the years and the very best of the non-league…
These were the agreed expectations with the board, which I feel are very achievable. I didn’t bother taking higher as we are already way under our wage budget and it didn’t alter our transfer budget either.
As we failed to win promotion last season by finishing second and losing the playoff final to Harlow, we have another bite at the Ryman Premier. We definitely had the potential last season to win the division, and with it automatic promotion, but we didn’t show it at times, letting good leads slip to draws and draws slip away to losses. This season we’ll do it. We’ll go up to the National League South. Won’t we?
We’ll be moving from Mabley Green to groundshare with Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road which is a pre-planned move I made before starting the career because Mabley Green in reality isn’t a stadium, it’s a caged astroturf pitch in a park. I could have set it to force a new stadium build once we outgrew Mabley but it wouldn’t have the expansion capacity to fulfil our future dream of Champions League football, and would cripple our already delicate finances. Brisbane Road is the closest stadium to Hackney Marshes (as close as London Stadium, but 60,000 capacity is a bit much for us!) so we’ll share with Orient until we have the finances to build our own home.
Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve had numerous restarts with this career, but the last one, the one I was blogging, I believed to be the last. I thought I’d chased all the bugs out and that it was as stable and as good as it was going to get. Alas, it was not. I’d noticed our ticket prices – match and season – were increasing exponentially year on year, far more than teams around us, to the point we were charging Arsenal prices (commonly known to be the most expensive in England) whilst in the seventh tier. There were also contract type issues again, which was the main cause of my original attempts failing, as well as some niggling database issues which were more irritating for me than game-breaking. An in-game editor couldn’t fix any of the issues so the last option became the only option – attempt to fix it all in the pre-game editor and start again. To allow myself time to catch up to where I was I decided not to blog until we’d reached the Ryman Premier again, and that I’d quickly sum up the seasons taken to get there in a single blog post. This one. So here goes…
Following on from my earlier post introducing the real-life club, here’s how it translates into the game.
Just as in the real world, the virtual club begin life at level 12 of the football pyramid, in the Middlesex Football League Division One (Central & East). Home is Mabley Green, an all-weather artificial pitch in Hackney Wick, which in reality has no proper capacity but for the purposes of the game is set at 1000, all standing, with the ability to expand up to 5000 – the required capacity for entry into the Football League. Facilities for youth players and training are terrible. The club in the real world are Amateur, but due to database issues, we will start as semi-pro.