Tag Archives: Promotion

Hackney Wick FC – 2028/29 Season Review

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.

ExpectationsexpectationsThe 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

Hackney Wick FC – 2026/27 Season Review

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

Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – 2026/27 Season Review

Hackney Wick FC – 2025/26 Season Review

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.


Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – 2025/26 Season Review

Hackney Wick FC – 2024/25 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.

Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – 2024/25 Season Review

Hackney Wick FC – 2023/24 Season Review

We’re really starting to get somewhere now. This season we’re in the National League South, which means we’re at the halfway point in our quest to reach the Premier League!



These expectations were acceptable, though I know we can achieve more.

Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – 2023/24 Season Review

Hackney Wick FC – 2022/23 Season Review

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.

Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – 2022/23 Season Review

Hackney Wick FC – The Story So Far: 2016-2021

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…

Continue reading Hackney Wick FC – The Story So Far: 2016-2021

AFC Wimbledon – Season Review 2017/18


2017/18 – Championship – End of Season Review

Since I’ve become manager, it has taken two seasons to get out of each division. This season, we’re in the toughest and most competitive second division in the world. Surely it would be impossible to go up at the first try… Wouldn’t it?

Sky Bet Championship (stats)

The Championship. Lots of very good, ex-Premier League teams in the mix, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Southampton in the division this year. We were supposed to be relegation candidates, and for the first third of the season it looked as though the prediction was right. We only managed one win in our first ten games and we looked like we were in crisis. One successful team meeting later and we picked up another win, and ended up with five wins and a draw in the next ten which brought us up towards mid-table. We had a patchy Christmas period, and started 2018 with a 1-0 reverse against Villa. Little were we to know that would be our last loss for eleven games! We were propelled up the table and into the play-off places! We were only a handful of points off the top, but equally, we were only a couple of points away from falling back into mid-table. Our last nine games included West Ham, Forest, and Birmingham, all away, and in a row. Not much was expected, but we managed five points from those games, and eleven from the others, which means we went into the final game needing a win just to maintain our play-off place, but if other results went our way, we could even win the title! We beat Brighton 5-0 away, which was by far our best win of the season and guaranteed our place in the play-offs, and it also ensured automatic promotion! Southampton won, which meant we couldn’t win the title, but that wasn’t important! We were going up!!!

Continue reading AFC Wimbledon – Season Review 2017/18

AFC Wimbledon – Season Review 2016/17


2016/17 – League One – End of Season Review

We managed a strong top half finish last season, and this season we needed to push on for a minimum of a play-off position if we were to convince the players and the fans that this is a club looking to reach the Premier League in this decade…

Sky Bet League One (stats)

The board were looking at a minimum of a mid-table finish, but I had greater aims – to at least finish in the play-offs. We started slowly, and after the first six games or so we looked like we weren’t going to do much better than last season. A change of tactic, from the trusty old rigid, counter-attacking system that got us this far, to a more possession based, fluid and short passing tactic. Still based on the 4-1DM-2-2-1 formation, the main changes to the roles were the use of an inside forward on the left wing, supporting full-backs rather than defensive, and the use of a Half-Back to step back into the defensive line when the full-backs went forward. It was a formation I had already set up, so the familiarity with it was pretty high already when it was implemented, and therefore it had much more of an instantaneous effect. Though we still hadn’t lost at that point,  we started winning games instead of drawing, and went on a run of six games won in a row, and ended up going 21 games unbeaten in the league. Towards the end of the season, due to us picking up injuries like an Essex girl picks up STD’s, we dropped off a bit, but we still managed to take the title relatively comfortably in the end.

Continue reading AFC Wimbledon – Season Review 2016/17

Enfield Town – Season Review 2018/19


2018/19 End of Season Review

Four promotions in as many seasons. Unbelievable in most peoples eyes, and certainly unexpected by all at the club. But can we make it five in five? Surely not…?

Get results for every game as it happens by following @EnfieldTown_FC on Twitter!

Sky Bet Championship (stats)

Wow. We were playing against some of the best players in the world. Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Blackburn, Olivier Giroud and Loic Remy at QPR, amongst others. We had Hallam Hope. “Fear can hold you prisoner, Hope can set you free” goes the tagline of The Shawshank Redemption. Free to roam the promised land of the Premier League!!!

Hope started badly, with only five goals in 22 games, but after a very public bollocking on twitter, he shaped up, and ended up with 28 goals in all competitions.

Continue reading Enfield Town – Season Review 2018/19