Matias Sandoval decided playing for the 21st best team in Argentina was his dream so he left us after one brilliant season for £210,000 (all profit) Rodrigo Cuba soon followed him out of the door but he had his sights on Europe and he joined Zulte Waregem for £250,000
I don’t mind players leaving we do need the money after all but putting a transfer request in because I won’t let you go to french 2nd division team takes the piss, fine off you go & Matias Ibanez joined Ajaccio for £105,000.
I also let Horacio Benincasa leave for more first team football & he joined Jose Galvez for £35,000.
I was convinced somebody was going to poach Diego Mendoza so i struck first and signed Luis Acuy a 19 year old striker from Allianza. Only problem was no one came for Mendoza great I now have to rotate 2 strikers in 1 role.
Felix Noguera soon followed through the door for £32,000 a 30 year old colombian left back to help my young left back out.
Torneo del Inca
This was the chance to see how my kids would cope with the step up in the season ahead and to be fair they didn’t we struggled & didn’t get out of the group for the first team in 3 seasons i’ve been in charge. Cristal went on to win it again after beating me in the final last year so our record goes Runner up, Runner up & failed to get out of the groups.
I did convince Christopher Gonzales to re-join the club at the end of his contract but he won’t be joining us until august thats a long wait for someone to turn our fortunes around.
A massive shock was our performance in the Copa Libertadores. After brushing aside Deportivo Quito 6-2 in the playoffs we finished 2nd in the group with 9 points maybe these kids ain’t too bad. We were then knocked out by Pachuca but it looked promising and we earnt some money.
Let me get this right against some of south americas biggest teams we can perform but against smaller teams in Peru we can’t some are getting abit big for their boots it seems.
Your typical opening stage for us we have a few good games but finish midtable. Is the Copa Lib taking it out of my players?
It probably didn’t help Mendoza was ruled out for 4 months after an injury in the 2nd game.
Change of formation
We changed the formation after Gonzales finally joined the club we went with 3 behind the striker would be interesting to see how this goes as I tend to prefer to play with players wide (A 4-2-3-1 how very hipster of me)
After the first 6 games I was so tempted to change the formation again it was an awful start but I held my nerve & Mendoza made a scoring return off the bench to bring us back from 0-2 to win 4-2 vs Allinza Atletico with gave me hope & did it pay off we went on a 11 game unbeaten run & Mendoza scored 13 to take us to the top of the closing stage after a playoff with Huancayo after finishing joint top with them.
We were into the playoffs.
Once again we were 4 games from glory we have failed the last 2 seasons could I make it 3rd time lucky. We drew Alizana in the semis. The media billed it as the battle of the best defence (them) vs the best attack (us) we scraped through on penalties.
Into the final and vs Cristal bloody Cristal I’m sure these are my arch nemesis! We smashed them 4-0 first leg Mendoza went on a rampage with a club record 4 goals.
We’ve won it 2nd leg is pointless or so we thought. We took a 1-0 lead, 5-0 on agg the fans were celebrating the board were cheering and we had done it. Bang Bang Bang Bang! what we conceded 4 goals in quick succession it was now 5-4 on agg and you could hear a pin drop. Siucho scored to make it 4-2 to give us a 2 goal barrier & finished off the tie with a late goal 7-4 in the end sounds alot different to how I was feeling at 5-4 for a moment I thought I’m throwing this away.
Champions of Peru for the first time since I took over & we did it with the kids.
The Vultures are already circling for my players we need to see what shape we look in come january but it would be nice next season to go further in the Libs and get a few more kids through to the first team
Thanks for reading