Right this is the big one. We’re still in the title race (just about) and the JD Welsh Cup, surely we can end up with one of them now that all of these new players are playing as a team? I hope so anyway! More important than that is the summer months following the conclusion of the domestic season, we’re on the lookout for a new job now that we are working our way towards the respectable Continental B Licence and I’m going to tell you now, the offer we get does not disappoint! Thank you again to everyone who is reading and supporting the saves – it’s time to kick it up a gear… let’s go!
March promised to be an interesting month as we had a JD Welsh Cup Quarter Final to contend with, as well as league games against the teams occupying the bottom 3 places of the 6 team split, so if there was ever an opportunity for a clean sweep of results this was it!
We started off the month in great fashion, cruising through the quarter final by beating Cardiff Met Uni (3-1). A clinical performance at our previous employers Llanelli Town had us 4-0 up at half time, before we sat back in the second half and it finished 4-1, oddly enough Llanelli had an expected goals ratio of 1.91 to our 1.13, but we obviously just took our chances better on the day!
Unfortunately despite a dominant performance we could only take a share of the points against Connah’s Quay (1-1) which realistically more than likely meant the title race was now officially over, but whilst it was still mathematically possible we would continue to fight! However that was not the case for much longer as it turned out because despite a great 2-1 win away at Barry Town, Bangor City had already played an extra game and won so the title race was over with 3 games to go.
A comfortable title win for them in the end and to be fair they have been brilliant since the first game of the season, right at it and only losing 2 games all season, well deserved! I do look back and think if we didn’t have to sign so many new players we could have made it a lot closer and possibly won it, but in the end I feel like the squad I assembled here will go on to win many league titles, whether I’m at the helm or not! Our biggest downfall was certainly the number of draws, highlighted by the club record we set along the way.
Anyway, no time to sulk as we had one more month of the season left and a JD Welsh Cup Semi Final to focus on, I was desperate to win some more silverware as during my time in Wales I still continued to have just the one trophy, the JD Cymru South League Title.
Well this confirms it, a trophy-less season it is destined to be! I can have zero complaints as well as we were absolutely battered by TNS and had no right to take them to extra time. In the end they scored the winner in the 117th minute to take the game 2-1 and put them into the final – good luck to them! The rest of the season was a bit of a formality to be honest, a quiet game against Llanelli Town finished 1-1 before we played newly crowned champions Bangor City again, I really wanted the players to play with pride and send a message that next season we will be back stronger (That Peter Crouch Podcast – if you know you know!), despite taking the lead twice we were pegged back both times and it finished 2-2. Our last game of the season was against TNS, but that result against Bangor City had been enough to confirm our place in the Europa League preliminary qualifying rounds next season with 1 game to go.
And it was a good job we had nothing on the line as we were battered 3-0 by TNS, we didn’t even play poorly, they had 4 shots in the game and scored 3! I have to say it was the first time I have ever conceded 3 goals when the opposition had an expected goal ratio of 0.25… but it didn’t matter, we had done what we needed to do this season. I felt sorry for TNS however as they only finished 1 point behind us and then lost in the cup final so it was Connah’s Quay who took the final European spot.
Post-Season Job Offer!
So with that the season was over and I set about trying to secure a higher reputation club! Bala Town were keen to enter into discussions over a new 2 year contract, but I felt it was time to leave Wales and take a step forward in the journey. I applied for a number of positions in Spain, Portugal, England, & Scotland – I had a few interviews and had been linked quite strongly with a couple of Sky Bet League 2 jobs with Bradford & Shrewsbury which I would have been keen at having a crack at. However I also noticed there were two jobs going with clubs of 2 star reputation in Sky Bet League 1 so I thought why not? Chuck an application in and see what happens… and would you believe it? We get an interview with Lincoln City and they offer us the job!! From Semi-Professional to Sky Bet League 1 – 1.8m transfer budget, 48k per week wage budget, I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better offer and I nearly snapped their hand off.
As you can see Lincoln finished just above the relegation places last season in 19th and the media prediction for the upcoming season is 16th, which more or less matches the board expectation of a mid table finish. I will wait to go through the squad before deciding what my personal expectations for the season are, however it looks like the first thing I will need to do is find a new assistant manager as our current one Alex Revell has received job offers from Bradford City (Sky Bet League 2) & Wycombe Wanderers (Sky Bet League 1) – two clubs I had been for interviews with!
In the next episode we will be starting our adventure in professional football! I’m honestly so excited for this next chapter in the journey now. Join me as we go through tactics, staff changes, transfers, pre-season and kick off our league campaign. Make sure you check out how we get on in our first professional club when the next episode drops on Saturday 30th January 2021.
Don’t forget you can subscribe below to have updates sent directly to your email so you know as soon as an episode is released! As always if you have any thoughts, tips or feedback leave them in the comments below or get in touch with us through our contact page or social media (twitter @DP_FM_) – we’d love to hear from you! If you’re enjoying then make sure you like this post and share with others from the FM Community.
While you’re here if you want to follow more challenges go over to Scott’s (the co-author of this site) challenge where he is on a journey to rebuild Bolton Wanderers and take them on a Europa League run! He has just finished the second season of his save so make sure you go back to the start here > Link: https://dpfmblog.com/2020/12/21/bolton-back-to-europa-s1e1/
Thank you for reading, as always please keep safe and we’ll see you again soon!