Following promotion last season, we had one target this season… Survive!
The Director of football has been a busy man, first of all he let 4 leave including another record sale, 17 year old youngster Primoz Obrez fetched €17,000 rising to €26,000.
We needed to increase the quality of the playing squad this summer and I waited to see what my DOF did. He went out and invested €50,000 on 10 new players.
The director of football obviously thought we needed to upgrade here so he spent €4,500 rising to €4,800 to bring in Chudy from Raca who failed to get promoted with us. 32 games played and a worse average rating than our current Goalkeeper.
The DOF has brought in a whole new back 5, following promotion he wanted to improve every position at the back with the keeper aswell.
An upgrade at right back? Danish player Oscar Fuglsang joins us on a free, runs with the ball down the right will be a good trait as we try to counter this season.
Bockay joins looking for games after just 1 match last season. A right footed centre back.
Another signing from Raca. Performing well with a 7.07 average and the flexibility to play Right back. Costing us €6,750.
Another option at Left back Zupa joins after a decent season last year.
This was the priority focus for me and I’m happy to say the DOF felt the same too. I said we needed a new midfield 3 in the centre and he did just that bringing in two Defensive midfielders and a attacking midfielder.
Hajovsky joins on loan from Trencin looking for some senior football. Left footed DM but can also play in CM.
Simko is our new DM, can play with both feet and mobile joining for a record breaking €20,500 we want him to be the heartbeat of the side this year.
Dopater excites me, I wish he had some traits but €7,000 rising to €7,250 to be our new playmaker in the middle.
Youngster Ilko joins on a loan, having played 18 games on loan to the same division as we were in last year at 17 year old getting a 7.16 average rating I’m hopeful he can be something special. I just wonder if we can do enough to get him on the ball.
Every newly promoted team needs a goal scorer and Brankovic best be the one. €11,000 transfer fee and a wage structure busting €1,000pw contract. He scored 2 goals in 15 last year which isn’t great. Hopefully he can get off to a good start and start repaying the €167,000 outlay from the DOF (3 year contract)
Following promotion and the players coming in I’ve changed the tactic again, Keeping the team in a compact 4141, we want to change to a countering team again and get the ball forward with speed but also win the ball as far away from our goal as possible.
An opening day win and then a draw made us think we would be ok this season but we then didn’t get another point in the league for 8 matches. Brankovic took 9 games to score, 11 in the cup. He then went on a bit of a run picking up 9 before the break and that saw our results improve.
At the winter break we sit 5 points outside the relegation playoffs and 9 outside automatic relegation. We are finding it hard to score goals and have kept only 3 clean sheets. This season was always going to be hard but we actually look like we have half a chance of staying up.
The DOF obviously saw the lack of goals we were scoring and thought we needed another option.
In came 20 year old Ghanaian striker Gilbert Tiero from a Ghanaian side, he has a decent record in Ghana with 58 goals in 102 games. Hopefully he can help us stay up.
He followed that up with the loan signing of Slaninka who can play all down the left hand side.
He let Hornyak go on a free and Hornik a star of our promotion campaign leave on loan due to a lack of games. 2 in 2 out as we push on to the second half of the season.
WE DID IT!!! We stayed up and in style, 7 points clear of trouble. The difference maker was the winter signing of Tiero he scored 12 goals in 15 games which was enough to help us stay up. He actually finished as our top scorer. Brankovic only scored one more all season and it was a last minute penalty to ensure we stayed up. We did enough of a job getting points vs teams around us to help our cause.
Chudy took over between the sticks and I’m still not sure if this was the right decision but after the money spent I felt I had to give him the chance. 6.96 average rating is lower than what I’d like.
The DOF invested heavily this summer in the defence bringing in 4 new defender. Bockay was the only one whop flopped. Fuglsang, Egbe and Zupa all contributed and helped towartds our survival.
Our new midfield three were going to be the difference makers this season between staying up and going down. Dopater came in with 1 goal and 6 assists, Hajovsky 1 goal 1 assist and Simko 0 goals 2 assists, Feher (3G 2A) Sarkozi (1G 3A) Bogi (2G 4A) all helped contribute. The numbers look low but for a newly promoted side I wasn’t expecting much more.
Brankovic I feel goes down as a flop just due to the money involved when a free signing outscored him in less games. But overall between the two of them they scored 21 goals of our 29 goals this season in the league.
Overall its a successful season in our first season in top flight. I’m happy with how it went and after that first bad run we never really looked in trouble. It was also a learning curve for me. I probably need to make sure the goals are more spread throughout the team going forward.
After 3 years at SKF Sered, and the mounting debt I felt it was time to move on. With a league title and a relegation battle survival now on my CV I’m hoping to make a step up. I’ve enjoyed my time here but it feels like the right time to move on. I did look last summer after my league win but nothing stood out.
Job number 3 – Poland
After stints in Denmark and Slovakia we are off to Poland next, as we take over GKS Tychy, whilst this might look like a step down from a top flight to a second division side the club is a lot bigger, a €3million bank balance, 15,000 seater stadium it feels like a step up.
Hopefully we can get promotion in the first season which will be a second promotion and maybe title win on my CV. They also agreed to let me work towards my next coaching badge which I wanted to do. I’ve also treated myself to a manager profile photo upgrade going forward thanks to Paul from the team at Viewfromthetouchline.
If you would be interest in the AI face packs the team have teamed up with some in the community to create packs of them available here link
When we come back next time we will see how my time in Poland starts off and hopefully the decision pays off.